Oral Statement by Liesje Schreinemacher during the World Bank Annual Meetings in Marrakech

Oral Statement by Liesje Schreinemacher, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, during the 2023 annual meetings of the World Bank in Marrakech, Morocco on 12 October 2023.

Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,

On behalf of our constituency, I want to express our appreciation for the warm welcome we’ve received in Morocco – and to extend our deepest sympathies for all those affected by this devastating earthquake.

Many tragedies are currently on top of my mind.

Our constituency condemns – in the strongest terms – the terrorist attacks on Israel from Gaza by Hamas. Our thoughts are with all victims.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to threaten the well-being of the entire world. I wish to reiterate our solidarity with Ukraine and to condemn Russia's illegal, unprovoked and unjustified aggression. We will continue to stand with Ukraine – for as long as it takes.

We are also following the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh very closely. Our thoughts go out to those seeking safety and shelter.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The global challenges we face as an international community demand us to act.

Paris, Nairobi, New York and Marrakesh echo this message loud and clear: the international financial system must be transformed to secure a sustainable future for all.

Broadening the Bank’s Mission to acknowledge the importance of a “livable planet” is an important part of accelerating progress towards Agenda 2030.

To implement this Agenda, we have to secure additional resources: we must do so by building a bigger Bank and by boosting private sector investments.

We must stretch our balance sheet, and explore solutions that have great potential, such as hybrid capital.

At the same time, we have to involve the private sector in addressing global challenges. One promising solution is the Global Emerging Markets Risk Database. The information in this database equips investors to evaluate the real risks of investing in emerging markets.

We also need to look at innovative financing. An example that comes to mind is the ILX fund, where Dutch pension funds co-finance MDB projects, in part based on the GEMS data.

We are especially grateful to President Banga for having embraced the spirit of cooperating with the private sector. Kick-starting the “Private Sector Investment Lab” is a clear signal that this is a priority.

In this context, we also commend the Bank for making the use of quality and sustainability criteria mandatory in its procurement procedures. In this way, the Bank leads by example when it comes to sustainable procurement.

We must also work towards a better Bank, through the use of country platforms and through partnership with development actors, such as the collaboration with the UN through the NDC Partnership.

A better Bank is also one that remains committed to addressing and preventing “conflict, fragility and violence” – as a vital part of the global fight against poverty.

In implementing this Agenda, the voices of young people, women and girls must be heard. They too deserve to reach their full potential.

Our constituency looks forward to a continued and close cooperation with you – the representatives of governments, executive directors, and the management of the Bank.  

Thank you.