Statement by Liesje Schreinemacher, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation at the World Bank Meeting of the Development Committee, 19 April 2024

Statement by Liesje Schreinemacher, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation at the World Bank Meeting of the Development Committee in Washington DC on 19 April 2024.

The spoken word applies.

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

Last October, we broke new ground.

We put sustainability at the heart of every World Bank program. We agreed to tackle global challenges together, to reduce poverty, and to help everyone thrive on a livable planet. These are wonderful ideals – but ideals mean nothing if we can’t make them real.

So let that be our goal for this Spring Meeting. To maintain our level of ambition, and to use it to bridge the gap between plans and implementation. We have momentum, so let’s use it.

First, by firmly implementing the adopted reforms.

Second, by increasing our collaboration with partners.

And third, by further improving the service delivery by the Bank.

We will need to confront challenges along the way. Debt distress is growing, energy- and food insecurity are rising, and the climate crisis is worsening. The horrifying situation in Ukraine, as a result of Russia’s aggression, is deeply concerning. We must continue supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes.

To realize the agreed reforms, all stakeholders must work together. We must especially include women and youth in policy making to reduce poverty and ensure a livable planet.

  • The Bank can do more to optimize its balance sheet. For example, by exploring the further reduction of the ‘Equity-to-Loan’ ratio,
  • Client countries can strengthen domestic revenues,
  • The private sector, especially institutional investors, can do more for financing of the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • And we, as shareholders, must maintain a high level of ambition.

As the Netherlands, we are doing our part.

Subject to parliamentary approval:

  • We will participate in the hybrid capital pilot with a contribution of sixty-eight million euro. This will unlock more than half a billion dollars of additional lending capacity.
  • And we will make possible an additional 2.1 billion euro in lending through the IMF’s Resilience and Sustainability Trust.

We will also continue supporting client countries in developing fair and effective tax systems. For example, through the new ‘Global Public Finance Partnership’.

Colleagues, it’s a simple message – but as we all know: a complicated one to make real.

But that shouldn’t stop us.

We have an opportunity here to make a difference.

All that we have to do, is to actually do it.

Thank you.