On November 29th in Addis Ababa, after two days of deliberations with Ministers of Finance, the Organization of Southern Cooperation (OSC) formally announced the establishment of the Common Leveraging Union of Borrowers (CLUB), a novel financial instrument that supports OSC Member States in securing concessional financing and negotiating their debt with external creditors.
At Development Reimagined, we first proposed the idea of a Borrowers Club in 2020, and have been working on making the concept a reality since then, speaking and writing extensively about its importance for debtor countries in the current creditor-centric financial system and the power it holds in providing critical financing to countries when they need it the most. We are therefore very pleased to see this development.
As a Borrowers Club, this is a historic moment and major victory not only for the OSC but for all borrower countries as it marks the first official establishment of a club that centers borrowers’ needs, interests, and priorities.
As the OSC continues to expand and add new members, Ministers of Finance and the Secretary-General called on all countries in the Global South to seek membership in the CLUB and invited international organizations and initiatives to work together closely with the CLUB.
In the Joint Statement, Ministers of Finance called on creditors to work alongside debtors to ensure an international financial system that accurately represents the interests of countries in the Global South. The Joint Statement also made it clear that the objective of the CLUB is to achieve authentic development through strategic investment in sectors that enhance sovereignty.
The first meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the CLUB is set for early 2024 to decide and operationalise the priority actions and coordinate further.