In the mid-eighties, the Commonwealth Fund for Technical Cooperation (CFTC)'s Economic and Legal Advisory Services Division created a computer-based debt management system, the Commonwealth Secretariat Debt Recording and Management System (CS-DRMS). As of 1993, CS-DRMS is now being used in the governments or central banks of 35 Commonwealth and five non-Commonwealth countries, and is being installed in a further two countries. In this respect, CS-DRMS has become the world's leading debt management package. The system's database holds a list of all a nation's external loans and the repayment terms, with regular reminders of when and how much to pay, and calculates the long-term costs of debt rescheduling. In setting up the system, Commonwealth consultants research the country's needs and institutional environment. Then experts install the system and train locals how to use the system, and often, long-term technical help in collecting information about foreign debt is also provided.
If loans are used to finance an excess of imports over exports or to make interest payments on existing debt then debt accumulates. Countries which are running this sort of resource gap should monitor the behaviour and relationship of a number of critical debt-related variables. These include the debt growth rate and the rate at which exports and income are growing, the size of the resource gap relative to income or debt, and the interest rate at which they are borrowing. In particular they need to ensure that neither the interest rate nor the growth of debt persistently exceeds the growth of exports or income.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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