Saturday’s Global Infrastructure Forum was full of firsts: this unprecedented daylong gathering in Washington, DC brought together the leaders of the multilateral development banks (MDBs), as well as development partners and representatives of the G20, G-24, and G-77, the OECD, the Global Infrastructure Hub and the United Nations. All shared the goal of enhancing multilateral collaboration to improve infrastructure delivery globally.
This was the first time that the Heads of all of the MDBs – African Development Bank, Asian Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank Group, Islamic Development Bank, New Development Bank, and the World Bank Group – have come together on a stage talking about infrastructure, reflecting the importance of the topic, and their commitment to multilateral collaboration.
Over 750 senior leaders from around the world attended the meeting and many joined us online via the live stream.
This wasn’t just talk. The Chairman’s Statement, issued at the close of the meeting, sets out some tangible steps that the participants will take over the next year to leverage more – and better - public and private investment in infrastructure.
MDBs and their development partners committed to collaborate with the public and private sectors and work with countries and investors to support the provision of greater access to, and better quality of, affordable infrastructure services that are environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable
i) by continuing to support country-led approaches to planning, executing, supervising and evaluating sustainable, resilient, inclusive, and well-prioritized infrastructure programs and robust infrastructure frameworks. In addition we will continue to support the involvement of all stakeholders in planning, financing through domestic resource mobilization as well as national/international financing, and operating infrastructure services, including governments, consumers, the private sector and civil society; and
ii) by consolidating and scaling up where possible existing multilateral mechanisms to promote greater knowledge transfer, project preparation and implementation support in the form of global and regional platforms and tools, including de-risking and risk allocation mechanisms, that have already been developed in close cooperation by MDBs, such as the Global Infrastructure Facility, the Global Infrastructure Hub, the International Infrastructure Support System, PPP Knowledge Lab, Infrascope, the PPP Certification Program and environmental, social and governance standards.
A number of specific, results-focused resolutions were taken to achieve the objectives of the Forum, listed in full with detailed follow-through items here:
- Improving data and information on infrastructure
- Promoting compatible, efficient approaches
- Strengthening project preparation
- Promoting financing for infrastructure
Finally, I’d like to acknowledge and thank my colleagues in the MDBs, who worked hard to make the Forum such a success.