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FEATURE STORYApril 26, 2023

Tough Challenges, Tougher Choices: Parliamentarians show resolve in the face of overlapping crises

GPF 2023 Group Photo

World Bank Group

The 2023 Global Parliamentary Forum (GPF), themed “Tough Challenges, Tougher Choices,” gathered 160 parliamentarians from 62 countries for two days in Washington, D.C. for 11 dynamic sessions.

WASHINGTON D.C., April 10-11, 2023 – The Global Parliamentary Forum (GPF) returned to an in-person format following COVID-19, convening 160 parliamentarians from 62 countries in Washington, D.C. on April 10-11, 2023 around the theme “Tough Challenges, Tougher Choices.”

The flagship Spring Meetings event, organized jointly by the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF, provides a platform for lawmakers to dialogue directly with World Bank Group and IMF senior leadership and experts, as well as their peers, on the most pressing development challenges.

This year’s GPF took place at a moment when the development landscape is being reshaped by an onslaught of crises, from climate change and surging debt to deepening conflicts and widening gaps in human capital, that are devastating the world and lives of the poor and vulnerable. Many parliamentarians are concerned about how to deliver results to their people in the face of these challenges, but remain committed to finding solutions.

We are not daunted, we are determined. We are determined because we are driven by the dreams of the people that we came into public life to serve.
Liam Byrne Headshot
Liam Byrne
MP, UK and Chair of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank and IMF

To address these concerns, during the special parliamentary townhall, World Bank President David Malpass and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva stressed the importance of strong core principles and fundamentals when making difficult choices. They urged legislators to pursue economic stability through improved fiscal and monetary tax policy, open trade, and promotion of private investment to allow their countries to make the most out of available resources. Emphasis was also placed on measuring results and growth beyond pledges and Gross Domestic Product and toward impact on people’s lives.

During a total of 11 sessions covering a wide range of topics including climate change, crisis preparedness, human capital, governance, gender empowerment, and economic outlooks, the important role of legislators was underscored. As representatives of the people and legislators, parliamentarians are critical to the pursuit of green, resilient, and inclusive development through laws, budgets, government oversight, and communications with citizens. This makes them crucial partners to the World Bank and IMF, a point that was emphasized throughout the entire event.

In addition to the townhall, the event drew senior leadership at the highest levels from across the World Bank Group, notably Axel Van Trotsenburg, Senior Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships, World Bank Group, and Anna Bjerde, Managing Director of Operations, World Bank Group. A true testament to the value of parliamentary engagement.

2023 Global YMP Meeting

World Bank Group

Global Young MP Initiative

The Global Parliamentary Forum concluded with the fourth meeting of the Global Young MP Initiative for legislators aged 40 and under, themed “Safeguarding the World’s Future: The Environmental and Social Framework.”

Around 35 young parliamentarians from 20 countries, including the Speaker of Parliament of Tonga, gathered to discuss how to scale up sustainable and inclusive policies and programs in their countries.

The meeting was opened with a warm welcome from Sheila Redzepi, Vice President of External and Corporate Relations, World Bank, followed by a presentation and discussion on the World Bank’s Environmental and Social Framework, a robust set of standards that strengthen protections for people and the environment by Maninder Gill, Director of Environmental and Social Standards, World Bank. Mr. Gill encouraged the young lawmakers to take action in shaping environmental and social policies and systems in their countries.

Participating parliamentarians were keen to share experiences and learn about the World Bank’s work, both globally and in their countries. They were especially interested in capacity building opportunities to help them better serve their constituents on important issues such as climate.

As young Members of Parliament, we bring fresh ideas and long-term policy perspectives to the table. We are committed to advancing our economies while promoting social well-being and environmental sustainability. It’s the energy, the passion and the persistence of youth that will always change the narrative.
Amira Saber headshot
Amira Saber Alsayed Mohamad
MP, Secretary General of the External Relations Committee, Egypt


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