Debt and Development

Key information

5:15 pm to 6:45 pm
SOAS - University of London

About this event

This event will host a discussion about high indebtedness which has created a negative debt-development feedback loop in many developing economies. 

Even though default rates have eased since the immediate years following the global pandemic, debt overhang problems and liquidity risks remain extremely high. In many countries, debt servicing costs are now at the highest levels seen in decades and crowding out critical development spending, including on urgently needed climate action. Several multilateral initiatives aimed at helping countries manage their debt burdens have been launched over the past three years, but they have been largely ineffective and insufficient. New financing approaches to dealing with the intersection of debt and development are needed, including on ways to mobilise more domestic resources. 

Despite a lack of action, the academic and policy discussions surrounding this topic are lively, and new ideas and instruments are being floated and tested to jointly address the debt and development crisis. This talk will focus on the current situation and outlook for debt in developing economies, the multilateral response to date, and what needs to change. It will also discuss UNDP’s approach to assisting countries in managing debt and mobilising development finance in general.


  • Marcos Athias Neto


Image by Mathias Reding via Unsplash.

About the Speaker

Marcos Athias Neto is United Nations Assistant Secretary General, Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support. 

Mr. Neto has served as the Director of UNDP’s Sustainable Finance Hub, leading UNDP’s work on sustainable finance in more than 40 countries in collaboration with other UN agencies and partners. As the Head of the G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group Secretariat, Mr. 

Neto also co-chaired the Executive Boards of the Business Call to Action and the Connecting Business Initiative. Mr. Neto has more than 25 years of experience in the field of development, and more recently in finance and private-sector development. Prior to joining UNDP, Mr. Neto served at CARE International for 17 years in roles including Regional Manager for Asia and Latin America, CARE UK, Executive Director of CARE, Brazil, and Programme Director for Central America. A lawyer by training, Mr. Neto holds a master’s degree in law from SOAS University of London.

Picture: Marcos Athias Neto.