Strengthening Economies, Fostering Resilience, and Collaborating for a Sustainable Future
The Commonwealth Finance Ministers gathered in Marrakesh, Morocco, to discuss important reforms to the global financial architecture. The focus was on amplifying development finance and mitigating debt vulnerabilities.
The meeting took place alongside the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and was chaired by Hon. Prof. Biman Chand Prasad, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Strategic Planning, National Development, and Statistics of Fiji.
The Commonwealth Finance Ministers Meeting (CFMM) serves as a crucial platform for open and candid dialogue among Commonwealth member nations on global and domestic economic issues. During the meeting, ministers shared best-practice strategies for ensuring debt sustainability. It also provided an opportunity for developing countries within the Commonwealth to engage with G7 and G20 members, fostering collaboration and the development of shared positions on pressing global economic challenges.
In her opening remarks, Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC highlighted the importance of the discussions, stating, “The storms we face are real and serious. To achieve greater sustainability and resilience for Commonwealth economies, we need to come together and push for global reform. We need to improve access to finance while ensuring every penny is utilized effectively. We meet at a critical time, and the case for reform of the global financial architecture is clear and urgent.”
Hon. Prof. Biman Chand Prasad, in his opening remarks, stressed the need for global financial reform. He praised the Bridgetown Initiative, developed by Commonwealth member Barbados, which calls for immediate and decisive action to address overlapping crises and reform international financial institutions. He emphasized the importance of collective efforts in tackling global challenges and reaffirmed Fiji’s commitment to multilateralism and addressing climate change.
#Commonwealth Finance Ministers met today at #CFMM in Marrakesh, Morocco to discuss the reform of the global financial architecture, with a particular focus on scaling up development finance and addressing debt vulnerabilities.
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— The Commonwealth (@commonwealthsec) October 11, 2023
Ministers were presented with key insights from the Commonwealth Secretariat, which highlighted strategies for enhancing economic resilience. These strategies included:
- The role of blended finance in mobilizing private investment and addressing market failures to support climate action.
- Debt-for-nature swaps as financial instruments to create fiscal space and promote climate-resilient projects.
- The introduction of new climate-related levies to generate domestic revenue for financing development needs.
- Blue and green bonds, with a focus on blue finance to address climate change and biodiversity loss.
- International initiatives such as increasing liquidity through Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and implementing the G20 Sustainable Finance Roadmap.
- The need to review Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) frameworks and include climate vulnerability in them to reflect the impact of climate-related investments on debt sustainability.
Ministers engaged deeply in these critical topics and concluded the meeting by emphasizing the urgency of taking actions to reform the global financial system, bolster development finance, and integrate considerations of climate vulnerability into financial analysis.
The CFMM demonstrated the Commonwealth’s commitment to addressing global financial challenges and the shared determination of member states to foster sustainable development and resilience.
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