UN secy-gen backs India’s multilateral development banks reform work | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

UN secy-gen backs India’s multilateral development banks reform work

By, Washington
Apr 22, 2024 06:43 AM IST

UN Secretary-General Guterres highlights MDB reform as a key theme at upcoming Summit of the Future during UNGA, praising Indian G20 presidency's efforts.

Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General, has said that the reform of multilateral development banks (MDBs) will be a key theme at this year’s Summit of the Future, the flagship event of the SG’s term, to be held during the annual high-level UN General Assembly meeting this September. He also hailed the work done by the Indian G20 presidency in this regard.

NK Singh with UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres
NK Singh with UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres

In a meeting with NK Singh, the co-convenor of the independent expert group (IEG) on MDB reform set up during India’s G20 presidency, in New York last week, the UNSG recognised that while every presidency brings its own set of priorities to the table, there must continue to be a focus on issues such as MDB reform that have far-reaching consequences.

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Singh also met others in the top UN leadership, including UN’s deputy SG Amina Mohammed and under secretary general for economic and social affairs Li Junhua during his visit to New York.

The UN leadership noted the suggestions made in the two volumes of the IEG’s report as an important contribution in ensuring that the “reforms of the international financial architecture” keeps pace with contemporary challenges such as fighting poverty and climate crisis. They also recognized the IEG prioritised principles like equality, shared prosperity and inclusivity, which align with the UN’s worldview.

As MDB reform has generated differing views between global north and south, a gulf that Indian presidency sought to bridge, the UN leadership also saw the UN’s “moral responsibility” as the voice of the global south — a role that other groups could not necessarily play because of their composition. This required the UN to pay special attention to the needs of low- and middle-income countries who needed sustainable infrastructure to maintain growth rates within limited fiscal space, the UN’s leadership indicated in the meetings with Singh.

It was in this backdrop that UN’s leadership has decided that along its other focus areas for this year’s high-level summit, which PM Narendra Modi is expected to attend if re-elected for a third term, MDB reform and coordination among the different banks will be a key subject of “high focus”.

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    Prashant Jha is the Washington DC-based US correspondent of Hindustan Times. He is also the editor of HT Premium. Jha has earlier served as editor-views and national political editor/bureau chief of the paper. He is the author of How the BJP Wins: Inside India's Greatest Election Machine and Battles of the New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal.

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