World Bank, IMF Annual Meetings Address SDGs, Fragility and Conflict
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In the context of the highest number of developing countries in an economic recession since 2009, the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group explored ways of: handling the impact of globalization and technology; harnessing digital development; encouraging inclusion and integration; deploying finance for development; managing migration; and stimulating economic growth.

The meetings also focused on issues pertaining to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and addressing root causes of fragility and conflict.

2016_annual_meetings9 October 2016: In the context of the highest number of developing countries in an economic recession since 2009, the Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group explored ways of: handling the impact of globalization and technology; harnessing digital development; encouraging inclusion and integration; deploying finance for development; managing migration; and stimulating economic growth. The meetings also focused on issues pertaining to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and addressing root causes of fragility and conflict.

The 2016 Meetings took place from 7-9 October, in Washington, DC, US. The Annual Meetings enable the Board of Governors from each institution to discuss policy issues of global concern and provide an overview of the world economic outlook and global financial markets. The Annual Meetings are complemented by the Spring Meetings. The 2016 Spring Meetings took place from 11-17 April, in Washington.

The Development Committee of the World Bank and IMF met as part of the Annual Meetings, on 8 October, and issued a Communiqué. The Committee urges the World Bank Group to: engage in deeper collaboration with international financial institutions and global partners to support the implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change; strengthen the knowledge agenda, including through enhanced monitoring, learning and evaluation frameworks and South-South flows; help enhance countries’ crisis preparedness, prevention and response frameworks; take a WBG-wide approach to help create markets, particularly in the most challenging environments, and to mobilize private resources, including through guarantees, especially for quality infrastructure, and for small and medium enterprises (SMEs); and tackle drivers of fragility, by improving investment climates, strengthening local governance, rebuilding state institutions, broadening access to finance, and fostering conflict prevention and resilience.

Also during the Annual Meetings, the heads of 11 multilateral development banks (MDBs) released a statement on ‘Delivering on the 2030 Agenda,’ which declares, “The 2030 Agenda is a trillion-dollar one, and official assistance flows will be nowhere near enough to finance it.” The heads of the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), the New Development Bank, the World Bank and the IMF, in their statement of 9 October, report that they are “stepping up efforts” to address the 2030 Agenda, including by: enhancing the “multiplier effect” of their financing; expanding their technical assistance; and disseminating and sharing their best practices. The MDBs also note they have committed to working on a “new humanitarian-development partnership,” in the context of forced displacement and its challenges to SDG progress. The assistance is to include support to countries hosting large numbers of refugees.

The MDBs commit to redoubling their efforts to scale up financing for development and capacity to achieve the SDGs. In that regard, they highlight support for: instruments that share risk in non-sovereign operations with private investors; creation of enabling environments for increased domestic and international investments; expanded policy guidance and technical assistance for domestic resource mobilization; and building data capacity to measure and monitor progress.

The MDBs also announced that, through a special joint Task Force, they have advanced on harmonizing methodologies and common metrics to quantify private finance catalyzed by their institutions. They explained that they intend to start jointly reporting measures of private direct mobilization and private co-financing in 2017, and encouraged other Development Finance Institutions and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to adopt the same methodology in order to facilitate greater global transparency around catalyzing private finance.

In remarks to the plenary meeting of the Board of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank, US President Barack Obama stressed the need to: push back against threats to global cooperation; build a global economy that works for everybody; eliminate terrorist financing, including by helping countries strengthen their financial regulations; and invest in education, infrastructure, development, and renewable energy technologies “that will create the opportunities of tomorrow.” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said one of IMF’s priorities is to assist countries in building capacity towards higher and more reliable government revenues, so that they can invest in infrastructure, health care, and education in support of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim spoke about the World Banks’ efforts to end extreme poverty by 2030 and promote shared prosperity through: accelerating inclusive and sustainable economic growth; investing more, and more effectively, in people; and fostering resilience to multiple global shocks and threats. Kim highlighted several World Bank initiatives, including: a new structure of Global Practices, which enables easier and faster knowledge sharing across countries; the Global Concessional Financing Facility, a new effort to address refugee crises by providing concessional development financing for middle-income countries (MICs); a new Environmental and Social Framework that will promote better and more lasting development outcomes; and The Managed Co-Lending Portfolio Program, which will, in the next five years, raise US$5 billion in private capital for investment in emerging market infrastructure loans.

Delivering remarks at an event on ‘One Year of the Sustainable Development Goals: Country Action and Progress’ on 7 October, UN Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson called on MDBs to address countries’ resource and capacity constraints, and promote investments in national and local governments. At an event on ‘Fragility and Conflict — Addressing Causes and Consequences,’ Eliasson reported that: UN humanitarian appeals have reached over US$20 billion a year, 80% of which is to meet needs generated by conflict; two-thirds of UN peacekeepers and 90% of UN political officers are now working in countries where “there is no peace to keep”; and in 2015, violence and conflict around the world cost more than US$13 trillion, while the UN Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) struggles to raise US$100 million per year. He announced that the UN has begun a process to break out of its silos of human rights, development, humanitarian affairs, and peace and security.

Eliasson also highlighted a joint global study on how development policies and programmes can contribute to the prevention of violent conflict. The study is expected to be launched at the UN General Assembly (UNGA) and the Annual Meetings of the World Bank Group and IMF in 2017.

Finally, Eliasson reported that the UN and World Bank are launching an initiative to “provide support to five countries and regions, looking at how capacities, finances and multiyear planning can all be brought together around collective outcomes,” with regard to the role of economic and social development in conflict and post-conflict situations. [Development Committee Communiqué] [MDBs Joint Statement] [US President Barack Obama Remarks] [IMF Managing Director Remarks] [WBG President Remarks] [Eliasson Remarks – ‘One Year of the Sustainable Development Goals: Country Action and Progress’] [Eliasson Remarks – ‘Fragility and Conflict — Addressing Causes and Consequences’] [Annual Meetings Information] [International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development Press Release]

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