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FEATURE STORY April 9, 2019

World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva Delivers Message of Resolve to Parliamentarians: We are determined to do our best in the countries we serve

Global Parliamentary Conference

© World Bank Group, 2019

147 parliamentarians from 48 countries representing every region of the world gathered at the World Bank headquarters in Washington April 8-9, 2019 to address today’s most urgent development issues at the fifth annual Global Parliamentary Conference (GPC).

The flagship event of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF, co-organized by the World Bank and the IMF, has become a quintessential meeting on the global parliamentary calendar. It provides a unique opportunity for legislators to engage directly with senior leadership from the two institutions and their peers from around the world. As elected officials and policymakers, parliamentarians are key actors in achieving meaningful development results for inclusive, sustainable economic growth.

"The knowledge learned and the experiences of this extraordinary event will not just linger in my mind for many years to come, but will be put to practical use in trying to open new ways and opportunities of engagement with the World Bank and IMF for sustainable development in various spheres"
Cornellius Mweetwa
MP, Zambia

During the special townhall session with senior management, World Bank CEO Kristalina Georgieva and IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde rallied MPs around multilateral collaboration to reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the face of mounting economic and political headwinds. “It’s not going to be a domestic exercise,” stated Mrs. Lagarde, “it requires partnership, aid, private sector involvement, and all of us working together.” Ms. Georgieva followed by assuring parliamentarians that the World Bank stands ready to be a key partner, “We are fighting fit and we are determined to do our best in the countries we serve. It is paramount that we do it, because we recognize a tremendous need in terms of supporting countries to meet the Sustainable Development Goals.”

“It is possible,” said Ms. Georgieva as she emphasized the importance of developing digital economies, particularly in Africa, to create jobs and eliminate poverty. “It would take money, political will, and you the parliamentarians.” Jobs creation was by far the most urgent concern for parliamentarians representing donor and recipient countries alike. Ms. Georgieva stated that in addition to jobs creation, ‘increased support of fragile and conflict-affected states,’ and ‘climate mitigation and adaptation’ were key priorities for the World Bank.

Both leading ladies of the institutions and MPs highlighted the economic and moral imperative to close gaps in gender equality. "Having more women contributing at all levels of our economy and of our political scenes is propitious to higher growth," said Mrs. Lagarde.

“What we need as MPs, is to give the same opportunities to girls and boys to learn, to have good health, and to have a job. We are not all born to be entrepreneurs, but we are born to be dreamers and doers,” Olfa Soukri Cherif MP and Member of the Finance Committee, Tunisia and Board Member of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & IMF

Ms. Georgieva incited cheers by noting that the change in presidency created the rare historic opportunity for the two Bretton Woods institutions be run by women. “If we are to succeed, we have to make use of the potential of all people – men and women.”

Sessions at the GPC included topics such as investing in human capital, empowering women for prosperity, acting against climate, governance, disruptive technology, and the IDA 19 replenishment. Ms. Georgieva finished her speech with a plea to all parliamentarians, “I wholeheartedly beg you, those who are donors, those who are recipients, please help us to make IDA 19 by the end of this year to be the most successful replenishment there could be.” The GPC was also the occasion to hold the latest elections of the Board of the Parliamentary Network. The new members can be found here.