PARIS: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman led the Kingdom’s delegation at the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, which kicked off on Thursday.
The event brought together more than 300 officials including heads of state, directors and representatives of international organizations and NGOs, private sector partners, philanthropists, climate experts, and members of civil society.
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French president Emmanuel Macron opened the summit, which is set to focus on climate finance, by saying the global lending system needed to be reformed to ensure low-income countries “shouldn’t have to choose” between fighting climate change or poverty.
“We can make it work much better if this money and these liquidities were at the service of progress on the planet and tackling this double challenge that I mentioned: poverty and climate change, (and) biodiversity,” he said.
“Policymakers and countries shouldn’t ever have to choose between reducing poverty and protecting the planet,” he added.
Also speaking at the summit, Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the UN, said the global financial architecture is outdated.
“We can take steps right now and take a giant leap to achieve global justice. I put forward the policy brief, a detailed blueprint for a redesigned global financial architecture capable of serving as a safety net for all countries,” he said.
“I have no illusions. This is a question of power and political will, and change will not happen overnight, but we can take urgent action today to meet the urgent needs of the developing and emerging economies,” he added.
Organizers said participants would be discussing institutional reforms on taxation, debt restructuring for poor countries, and an international carbon emissions tax, particularly in the maritime transport sector and on global financial transactions.
The summit, which concludes on Friday, was announced last year by French President Emmanuel Macron and Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados.
Macron said: “We must jointly agree on the best way to address these challenges in poor and emerging countries of the developing world, on the amount of investments, and on the reform of all infrastructures such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, public and private funds.
Mottley said: “We must together build a more responsive, fair, and inclusive international financial system to combat inequalities, finance the climate transition, and bring us closer to achieving sustainable development goals.