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President Kim to MPs: “We need to move quickly to meet rising global aspirations”

April 19, 2017

Global Parliamentary Conference 2017

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim addressed 165 parliamentarians from 66 countries at the Global Parliamentary Conference from 17-18 April 2017 in Washington DC

World Bank

Washington DC, April 17-18, 2017 – 219 participants from 66 countries - including 165 legislators and 54 observers - convened in Washington DC to participate in discussions with the World Bank and IMF leadership on the global development agenda.

Organized jointly by the World Bank, the IMF and the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & IMF, the Global Parliamentary Conference (GPC) offers Parliamentarians a platform to engage with World Bank group and IMF Senior Officials, and explore ways they can tackle development issues in their respective Parliaments.

The conference comes at a critical juncture for the international community facing rising criticisms about the relevance of multilateralism and globalization.

It’s a challenging time,” said President Kim. “And your presence here speaks volumes about the level of commitment parliamentarians have shown to helping people achieve their aspirations.

Mrs. Lagarde and Dr. Kim invited MPs to take a prominent role in leading that movement as MPs are best positioned to build political will, financial support and advocate for development outcomes in their respective constituencies.

The conference also highlighted the critical role of the private sector in meeting the aspirations of citizens around the world.

Two-thirds of existing jobs will be wiped out by automation if investment isn’t increased,” warned Dr. Kim. “Investment must come from the private sector. We need to create opportunities for investors to invest, whether they are from developed or developing countries.

Dr. Kim also emphasized the importance of investing in human capital to foster economic growth.

The premium on human capital will go up every year as the economy becomes digitalized,” he explained. “The jobs of the future will be in areas where human empathy is required, like professionalizing childcare for instance.

Efforts in building human capital will fall short if they are not underpinned by a stronger focus on early childhood development, warned Dr. Kim. “I cannot stress this enough to MPs: if we do not catch childhood stunting in the first thousand days, children will not be able to learn, and the earnings of future generations will be lower overtime. We need a revolution in education and a bigger focus on early education and childhood development. Unless you deal with that issue, it is hard to conceive how future generations will compete in a world where two-thirds of low skills jobs will disappear. We need to ask ourselves: Are there ways to improve the education system through the use of technology?

The conference also featured a special address by H.E. Kemi Adeosun Minister of Finance, Nigeria who shared success stories from her country.

Global Parliamentary Conference 2017

Hon. Jeremy Lefroy, MP UK and Chair of the Parliamentary Network and H.E. Kemi Adeosun, Minister of Finance, Nigeria

World Bank

Global Parliamentary Conference 2017

The conference was also the occasion for the Parliamentary Network to hold a General Assembly and elect a new board.

World Bank

The parliamentary conference also focused on other key development priorities, such as fighting inequality through job-creation, tackling corruption in government and the private sector, growth prospects and challenges for Sub-Saharan Africa, fighting climate change, eliminating energy subsidies, and building inclusive institutions and parliaments.

Discussions looked at how parliamentary involvement can be harnessed and strengthened, as well as how to foster continuous parliamentary involvement in the SDGs implementation process. Yet it will be the responsibility of MPs to turn these recommendations into actionable policies on the ground, as underlined by Yunus Carrim, MP South Africa and Chair of the Finance Committee. “We need a shift in the way MPs do business, for the sake of their people.

The conference was also the occasion for the Parliamentary Network to hold a General Assembly and elect a new board:

1. Jeremy Lefroy, MP, UK

2. Olfa Soukri Cherif, MP, Tunisia

3. Alain Destexhe, Senator, Belgium

4. Oscar Mauricio Lizcano Arango, President of the Senate, Colombia

5. Pauline Bekono Ebah Ndoumou, MP, Cameroon

6. Lahcen Haddad, MP, Morocco

7. Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin, MP, Malaysia

8. Nathan Nandala Mafabi, MP, Uganda

9. Olga Bielkova, MP, Ukraine