Whiter the common framework

When the Common Framework was launched by the G20 in November 2020, it was celebrated as a breakthrough, and for good reason: it promised a fundamental and long-overdue shift in the sovereign debt restructuring regime at a critical time. The official bilateral creditors who signed on to the framework included China, which had become the largest official bilateral creditor to low-income countries, but had been reluctant to join established restructuring institutions, such as the Paris Club. But almost two years on, the IMF, the World Bank, and a host of other policy, civil society, and market stakeholders are raising concerns about the Common Framework’s failure ability to deliver meaningful debt relief. So what is the problem, and how can it be fixed?