EBRD welcomes multilateral focus in new report on global financial governance

By Anthony Williams

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has welcomed a new report on global financial governance that places a high priority on internationalism and multilateralism at a time when the dangers of nationalism are increasing.

The report was commissioned by the Group of 20 nations and produced by an Eminent Persons Group led by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam. It was presented to G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank governors at the Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Bali, Indonesia.

Commenting on the report at the Annual Meeting, EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti said he welcomed its “strong and explicit recognition of the value of a well-functioning international or multilateral system”.

“With internationalism being challenged on a daily basis, recognising the contribution of the MDB (multilateral development bank) system is critical.  The release of the report is an opportunity to continue to modernize the MDB system and also to articulate how the system can work effectively, also in collaboration with other actors, especially the bilateral development finance institutions,” he said.

The EBRD President referred specifically to the need for a strong multilateral response given the report’s calls for a greater sense of urgency in achieving the 2030 Development Agenda, including the Sustainable Development Goals, the COP21 Paris Climate Agreement and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

A specific area that requires greater collective action is climate change, where the EBRD has pledged to make an important contribution, with its goal of dedicating 40 percent of annual investments to the green economy by 2020.

The EBRD also welcomed the report’s focus on the private sector, the President said, noting that working with the private sector was baked into the EBRD’s business model. Private sector mobilisation is critical to achieving the development goals, he said, including by deepening local capital markets and helping to improve the investment climate to attract foreign direct investment.

The EBRD President said he was particularly pleased that the report recognised the need for the MDBs to work as a system and that it addressed how best to develop the right governance to support an acceleration of efforts to deliver on the 2030 Agenda.  All MDBs share a commitment and special role in advancing progress on key development goals, yet each also has its specific mandate, geography, history and areas of expertise.  

“If we do not find creative ways to leverage the MDBs’ specific strengths for the benefit of all, we stand no chance of meeting the challenges and opportunities that stand before us,” he said.

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