The Center for Global Development in Washington, DC on 7 October released a report by a high-level panel on multilateral development banking which was co-chaired by Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Lawrence H. Summers, and Andrés Velasco. The report identifies five recommendations to shareholders of the existing and new multilateral development banks. Below is a statement in response to the CGD report by the heads of the Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, Inter-American Bank Group, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
We, the Heads of the Regional Development Banks (RDBs), welcome the report of the Center for Global Development’s High-Level Panel on Multilateral Development Banking. This is an important report at a critical moment, as we move into high gear to deliver on the ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the historic Paris agreement on climate. As the Panel recognizes, the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) are essential and uniquely-qualified players in the international financial architecture.
In particular, we applaud the approach taken by the Panel to view the MDBs as a system; we believe that only by embracing a system-wide approach can shareholders ensure that the full potential of the MDBs is exploited. In this regard, we welcome the Panel’s suggestion for periodic system-wide reviews by shareholders to look at governance structures, capacities and needs, including capital, across institutions and regions, with a view to setting a comprehensive and coherent strategic agenda.
We take note of the Panel’s recommendations that aim to strengthen the collective MDB response to delivering global public goods. We welcome the report’s findings that the RDBs should take an increasing role in operations supporting global and regional public goods, and that RDBs – because of their regional focus – are better placed to meet financing needs for climate-smart and resilient infrastructure. We are pleased that the report also recognizes our role as a trusted partner to our client countries, which has also allowed us to support key policy and institutional reforms in a variety of areas, including education and health, as well as our role in crowding in private investment.
At the same time, we believe that any discussions of focal areas across institutions should be based on a granular assessment of areas of specialist expertise and operational capacity. Notably, the RDBs have proven track records of innovation and they have each developed areas of world-class expertise which could be leveraged more effectively across the system. Our four institutions have begun to examine how to deploy our particular strengths and further enhance our individual and collective efforts to deliver the greatest impact in our respective countries of operation.
In the coming months and years, we have only a short window of opportunity to put in place the enhancements to the MDB system which would allow us to maximize our collective impact in supporting the delivery of the 2030 Agenda. Let us work together to ensure that the system of MDBs as a whole will deliver to its maximum potential.
Akinwumi ADESINA, President of the African Development Bank
Takehiko NAKAO, President of the Asian Development Bank
Suma CHAKRABARTI, President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
Luis Alberto MORENO, President of the Inter-American Bank Group