This policy brief discusses the challenges that could arise in building international partnerships to achieve the sustainable development goals in the specific context of external debt impacts. External, or sovereign, loans are a double-edged sword. When sustainable, they could help states with desperately needed funding for social and economic infrastructure. When unsustainable, such loans could be detrimental to sustainable socio-economic development. Sovereign debts are often associated with one crucial fact: they are owed mostly by developing countries to more advanced states and their financial institutions. In some cases, some states viewed as developed could also face the negative impacts of huge external debts.

Part of Series

In this series by emerging scholars, policy briefs address opportunities for international and domestic law, economics and policy to contribute toward achieving sustainable development across sectors. The policy briefs are therefore tailored to global economies and policy-oriented solutions in one or more of the ILRP’s core research areas of international intellectual property law, international environmental law, international economic law and international Indigenous law. The idea is to address aspects of CIGI’s research areas through the lens of international law, economics and policy, governance and sustainable development in a public policy format.
  • Basil Ugochukwu is a CIGI fellow who contributes to research projects on corporate governance, international law and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.