D-DebtCon: Sept. 7-18

September 2, 2020

Officials & experts across 5 continents discuss urgency of rising sovereign debt amidst global pandemic

WASHINGTON – As the pandemic response and economic fallout from the public health crisis strain national finances, economic officials and experts from around the world will gather virtually across nine countries and five continents for the Distributed Interdisciplinary Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference — or “D-DebtCon” — Sept. 7-18, 2020.


A new global debt crisis is mounting as the pandemic drains national tax revenues, exports shrink and remittances collapse. Around the world, debt levels are surging for countries across the national income spectrum. Half of all low-income countries are now in or on the verge of a debt crisis as a result of COVID-19. More than a dozen middle income countries are at risk, and advanced economies are borrowing on an unprecedented scale to finance emergency response.

To rise to these historic challenges, DebtCon — the world’s preeminent sovereign debt conference founded by Georgetown Law’s Institute of International Economic Law in 2015 — will be “Distributed” this year among 10 hosts in nine countries across five continents. This first-ever Distributed DebtCon, or D-DebtCon, will run on virtual platforms Sept. 7-18, 2020.

Over 10 days, leading economic officials, policy analysts and academics will address topics including regional debt challenges in Africa and the EU, lessons from this summer’s debt restructurings in Latin America, Asian perspectives on public and private debt vulnerabilities, building debt resilience in small island economies, private enforcement of public debts, and historical experience with debt crisis management.


September 7-18, 2020


Find speakers on the full D-DebtCon agenda.



September 7 – “Addressing the African Debt Conundrum”
Time: 3:00pm – 6:00pm SAST (9:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT)
Register with host: University of Pretoria (South Africa)

September 8 – “Sovereign Debt in the European Union”
Time: 3:00pm – 6:00pm CET (9:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT)
Register with host: European University Institute (Italy)

September 9 – “Tradeoffs and Outcomes in Sovereign Debt Restructurings: The Views of Academics and Argentine Policymakers”
Time: 9:00am -12pm ART (8-11 AM EDT)
Register with host: Universidad Torcuato Di Tella (Argentina)

September 10 – “Sovereign Debt in Financial History”
Time: 4:00pm -7:00pm CEST (10-1 PM EDT)
Register with host: The Graduate Institute (Switzerland)

September 11 – “China’s Debt and Asia’s Perspective on Sovereign Debt”
Time: 2:15pm – 4:30pm ART (2:00am – 4:30am EDT)
Register with hosts INSEAD, CEPR, ABFER, and NUS Business School (Singapore)

September 14 – “A Pandemic Test for International Financial Architecture”
Time: 9:00am – 12:15pm EDT
Register with host: Georgetown Law IIEL (United States)

September 15 – “Financial Resilience and Debt Sustainability: Navigating the Waters”
Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm EDT
Coming soon – Register with host: Barbados Financial Services Commission (Barbados)

September 16 – “Revisiting CACs, Considering Domestic and External Arrears”
Time: 2:00pm – 5:00pm BST (9:00am – 12:00pm EDT)
Register with host Queen Mary University London (United Kingdom)

September 17 – “COVID-19 Pandemic and Rising Global Debt”
Time: 2:00pm – 5:00pm CST (2:00am – 5:00am EDT)
Coming soon – Register with host: Tsinghua University (China)

September 18 – “Private Enforcement of Public Debt”
Time: 9:00am – 12:00pm EDT
Coming soon: Register with host: International Insolvency Institute (United States)

About DebtCon

The Interdisciplinary Sovereign Debt Research and Management Conference, or DebtCon, was launched at Georgetown Law’s Institute of International Economic Law (IIEL) in January 2016. Its mission is to engage scholars and practitioners across geographic, disciplinary, and institutional boundaries to help solve pressing sovereign debt problems.

DebtCon brings cutting-edge research to bear on policy and market practice, and helps make research more impactful with exposure to real-world policy and market experience. D-DebtCon will carry on the mission and expand the reach of the DebtCon project at this critical time. DebtCon4 will return in person at the European University Institute (EUI) in 2021.

Since 2019, DebtCon has been part of the Sovereign Debt Forum, a collaboration among Georgetown IIEL, Queen Mary University London and EUI, to encourage and disseminate policy-relevant research, and help improve government debt management capacity, particularly in vulnerable economies. Past programs in Washington and Geneva may be found here.