Minister Singh attends Paris Summit for Reform of Global Institutions

On Thursday 22 June and Friday 23 June, Senior Minister at the Office of the President with responsibility for Finance, Hon. Ashni Singh, attended the “Global Summit for a new Global Financial Pact” which was convened in Paris by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The Summit brought together over a hundred global leaders including the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Brazilian President Lula da Silva, US Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and President Joe Biden’s Special Envoy and former US Secretary of State, John Kerry.

The aim of the summit was to advance a reform agenda for the major global financial institutions, including a significant focus on the Bridgetown Agenda championed by Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley. The new President of the World Bank, Ajay Banga and Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva took part in discussions focused on how these institutions can be reformed to be relevant to the challenges of the 21st century – with a specific focus on supporting debt sustainability, climate finance and the attainment of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in all countries.

Minister Singh expressed his appreciation for President Macron’s leadership in convening leaders to focus on modernising these institutions. He commended the work that institutions like the IMF, IDB and World Bank had done over decades, pointing out that they had supported Guyana when democracy was restored in the early 1990s and the then-Government had to deal with the PNC’s legacy of unsustainable debt and widespread economic mismanagement.

However, the Minister also highlighted the urgent need for the institutions to modernise to deal with the challenges of today. He joined other developing country representatives in calling for more nimble responses to small countries who faced crises – such as those of the Caribbean who face economic and environmental shocks on an increasingly frequent basis. The Minister also stressed the need for the institutions to support all countries – large and small – in dealing with the challenges of investing in climate security, energy security and food security, echoing the comments made by President Irfaan Ali at the United Nations General Assembly.

Speaking after the Summit, Minister Singh said “President Macron is to be commended for gathering so many leaders in Paris to face up to the long overdue need for major reform in the global financial institutions. Today’s summit is just the start. Most countries present at today’s summit did not exist as independent countries when the IMF, World Bank and other global institutions were founded – which is why the reforms championed by Prime Minister Mottley and others are so important. The heads of these institutions and their major shareholders all recognised this today – so I hope the coming months will see action to take forward the agreements of the last two days.”