Ministers and Governors, Managing Director Lagarde, President Kim and distinguished colleagues, welcome to the 94th Ministerial meeting of the Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four on International Monetary Affairs and Development.
Before we start our meeting let us wait for the members of the press to leave the room.
I am very pleased to welcome you all here to Lima, Peru. I am Alain Bifani, Director General of the Ministry of Finance of Lebanon and I am here on behalf of Minister Ali Hasan El Khalil, who unfortunately cannot be with us today. At the table with me is Mr. Mauricio Cárdenas, Minister of Finance of Colombia, serving as First Vice-Chair, and Mr. Sufian Ahmed, Minister of Finance of Ethiopia, as Second Vice-Chair.
In the folder in front of you, you will find the material relevant to today’s meeting, including the agenda for this meeting, a statement from the UN undersecretary general for economic and social affairs, as well as an information note from the G20.
Colleagues, recovery in the global economy has been weaker than expected since our last meeting. We face increased downside risk. We face the challenge of navigating a potentially bumpy road ahead, with volatile and tightening financial markets, interest rate hikes, exchange rate depreciations, and persistently low commodity prices. We are mindful of the potential spillovers as a result of monetary policy normalization in the US. In this regard, we call for effective and well-sequenced policy change that is well-communicated to guard against potential financial instability. The adequacy of financial safety nets is of key importance, and should be a priority for the global community. It is also clear that we must continue to take concerted steps to boost resilience at home while laying strong foundations for inclusive growth, along with collective measures and policy coordination at the global level.
2015 has in fact been a watershed year for collective action within the global community, with the articulation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the associated SDGs, and the agreement on the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development. These commitments will shape the world’s efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainability in its three dimensions — social, economic, and environmental in the years to come.
We each have a tremendous opportunity to make these aspirations a reality within our own countries. But it is also crucial for G-24 Ministers and Governors to discuss the challenges and opportunities they face as they navigate this enormous undertaking. Mobilizing sustained and predictable financing from various sources will be essential to the implementation of our development plans. In this regard, mobilizing domestic public and private financing will be key, but these efforts will also need to be complemented by strengthened support from international financial institutions and the global community.
Finally, before beginning the discussions, I would like to take the opportunity to call attention to the profound economic and social impacts from the protracted refugee crisis. EMDCs are disproportionately affected by the influx of refugees, and my own country of Lebanon has been facing significant impacts as a result of the influx of Syrian refugees in numbers close to 50% of the population. We stress the urgent need for continued support and resources from the international community in order to address these challenges. Countries like Lebanon that are providing relief to an enormous number of refugees are offering the world a global public good, and I believe we should properly assess what this means and the underlying value of these global assets, and strive to develop adequate responses and appropriate instruments to match the needs. Supporting those countries in their tremendous effort on behalf of the whole world is a global responsibility, and a global service rendered to all nations and to mankind.
With that by way of background, I would like to now turn to two of our Ministers to begin the discussions and pose questions to Managing Director Lagarde and President Kim.