The IMF Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda 2023, released during the Spring Meetings, highlights safeguarding economic stability, supporting vulnerable countries, and sustaining our future prosperity as the institution’s key priorities.
According to the Development Committee Chair’s Statement, governors reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the SDGs and requested that the WBG continue its efforts to support actions in the many areas of sustainable development.
The 2023 Spring Meetings of the World Bank Group (WBG) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) discussed how the WBG and IMF could respond to the overlapping crises that are reversing development gains. Participants pledged to explore new solutions to risks in the banking sector, inflation, rising debt, the war in Ukraine, and climate change, among other shared challenges.
The event, which convened from 10-16 April 2023 in Washington, D.C., US, included meetings of the joint Development Committee and the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), as well as numerous seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial markets.
Released on 13 April, the IMF Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda 2023 highlights safeguarding economic stability, supporting vulnerable countries, and sustaining our future prosperity as the institution’s key priorities. It warns that the outlook for the global economy is increasingly risky and uncertain and that “divisions within and across countries are deepening, exacerbated by rising fragmentation.” The Policy Agenda calls for strong policy action and pragmatic approaches “to find areas of common ground to respond to shared challenges.”
WBG management and shareholders “recommitted to the institution’s vision of a poverty-free world,” a World Bank press release notes. Member countries endorsed measures with the potential to add USD 50 billion in International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) lending capacity over the next 10 years, including a revision of the Bank’s minimum equity-to-loan ratio to 19%, a hybrid capital pilot, and a scaled-up bilateral guarantee programme.
According to the Development Committee Chair’s Statement, governors reaffirmed their commitment to achieving the SDGs and requested that the WBG continue its efforts to support:
- Emergency response and longer-term resilience;
- Inclusive and sustainable growth;
- Macroeconomic and financial stability;
- Water and energy access;
- Food insecurity and malnutrition;
- Pandemic preparedness and response assistance, including medical supplies and vaccines;
- Social protection for the poor and vulnerable;
- Strengthened education systems;
- Job creation and private sector development;
- Measures to address debt transparency and sustainability issues; and
- Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
They also reiterated their call for “greater international cooperation and strengthened multilateralism to safeguard global economic integration.”
As per the Chair’s Statement, while there were “other views and different assessments of the situation,” most members of the Development Committee recognized that “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has continued to have massive humanitarian consequences and a detrimental impact on the global economy.” Similarly, the IMF Managing Director’s Global Policy Agenda 2023 emphasizes that ending the war in Ukraine “remains the single most impactful action” to support vulnerable countries.
The Development Committee, formally known as the Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries, is a WBG/IMF ministerial forum for building intergovernmental consensus on development issues.
Speaking at a side event, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed underscored that the SDGs “need an urgent lifeline.” She reiterated the three actions outlined in the Secretary-General’s SDG Stimulus: tackle the high cost of debt and rising risks of debt distress; massively scale up affordable long-term financing for development; and expand contingency financing to countries in need. Multilateral development banks (MBDs) could thus mobilize greater amounts of private sector financing, she stated.
In a keynote address at another Spring Meetings event, Mohammed stressed the need to place global economic governance reform “at the core of our engagement on the Summit of the Future in 2024.” She called for actions to: 1) reform global economic governance; 2) close gaps in the sovereign debt architecture; 3) reshape international public finance; 4) strengthen the global financial safety net; and 5) reset the rules of the banking and financial system.
The 2023 Annual Meetings of the WBG and IMF are scheduled for October in in Marrakech, Morocco. [World Bank Spring Meetings 2023 Webpage] [IMF Spring Meetings 2023 Webpage] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on WBG/IMF Annual Meetings 2022]