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AIIB, MCDF Partnership to Foster High-Quality Infrastructure Investments

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The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has become the first implementing partner of the Multilateral Cooperation Center for Development Finance (MCDF). The partnership seeks to leverage resources to support the preparation of high-quality connectivity infrastructure projects to facilitate resilient and inclusive economic growth.

This is AIIB’s second accreditation with a multilateral partnership facility after securing its first accreditation with the Global Infrastructure Facility in June 2021. The partnership enables AIIB to expand its resources to serve a broader range of members and further its role in financing Infrastructure for Tomorrow (i4t)—green infrastructure with sustainability, innovation and connectivity at its core. It is also in line with AIIB’s thematic priority of Connectivity and Regional Cooperation and principle of high governance standards as set out in the Bank’s Corporate Strategy.

AIIB has been serving as the Administrator of the MCDF since June 2020. “MCDF was set up to spread the reach of high standards in connectivity projects and promote cooperation and knowledge sharing among MDBs. As host of the MCDF, we will strive to support these goals and ensure the MCDF is administered according to the highest level of multilateral governance standards, in line with the commitment made by our Board of Directors,” said Sir Danny Alexander, AIIB Vice President for Policy and Strategy.

As an implementing partner, AIIB will have access to MCDF resources to support its members in preparing high-quality connectivity infrastructure projects, benefiting from the platform that drives synergies and enhances learning and knowledge sharing. It will also help encourage other investors and financial institutions to adopt such high project standards for connectivity infrastructure investments. The partnership will enable AIIB to enhance collaboration with other development partners to support major infrastructure projects by leveraging the Bank’s sectoral experience and expertise. AIIB will further contribute to the development of high-quality projects by providing capacity building to its members.

“Connectivity infrastructure projects are large and complex and require significant resources for preparation,” said AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations (Region 1) D.J. Pandian. “With MCDF as a partner, we will be able to bridge this gap for our clients to help them prepare and implement high-quality connectivity infrastructure projects.”

MCDF’s support will play a critical role in enhancing information sharing across implementing partners and clients, strengthening capacity building to enhance relevant know-how and institutional capacity of development economies and reinforcing project preparation for accelerated project-related assessment.

“Many of our members need to build their capacity to develop and deliver connectivity projects,” said AIIB Vice President, Investment Operations (Region 2) Konstantin Limitovskiy. “A value-addition of this partnership is that our clients will have access to the best practices and knowledge generated by MCDF. This will help to strengthen clients’ ability to design and implement high quality projects.”

MCDF CEO Zhongjing Wang said the partnership marks a pivotal time for the international community.

“By bridging gaps in financing and knowledge for high-quality infrastructure and connectivity investments, the partnership between the MCDF and AIIB will catalyze development momentum, promote quality standards and achieve sustainable impact at the global, regional and country level,” said Wang.

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Development

Spain’s PM Speaks with Global CEOs on Strategic Priorities in Post-Pandemic Era

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The World Economic Forum today hosted a “Country Strategy Dialogue on Spain with Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez” for its partners, chaired by Børge Brende, President of the Forum. The session gave CEOs from around the world an opportunity to hear directly from Sánchez on the factors behind Spain’s remarkable resilience to the economic shocks of the pandemic and its post-COVID-19 recovery strategy.

In the virtual session, Sánchez explained his government’s policy priorities and answered questions from CEOs on promoting innovation, a digital economy, a green transition and social justice in Spain, and on improving the enabling environment for long-term investors.

“After deploying unprecedented economic, financial and social measures to protect our economies, Spain is experiencing strong recovery. We want to build the economy of the future, and to do it in an inclusive way, leaving no one behind. We want to attract top talent and quality, innovation-centric investments. In summary, we want to transform the Spanish economy and we want to do it together with the private sector,” he said.

“The world economy is again growing. Spain is on track to be one of the fastest-growing economies among G20 countries. With Spain being among the key stakeholders in the European Union recovery fund, Prime Minister Sánchez and his government have provided important leadership on how to use the current momentum for a truly transformative agenda, for Spain, but also for Europe.” said Brende.

More than 80 partners of the World Economic Forum from around the world participated in the virtual session.

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The Indigenous peoples of the North in Russia have got extra support

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The largest metal producer, Norilsk Nickel, has decided to provide additional funding to the indigenous people of the Russian Arctic – living on the Taimyr Peninsula, the company said in a press release.

This is the second tranche of the company allocated to the indigenous peoples living in the north of Russia this year. Earlier it was reported that Norilsk Nickel allocated 2 billion Russian rubles (25.9 million US dollars) for various humanitarian needs of the indigenous peoples of the Russian North – the Taimyr Peninsula.

 “Norilsk Nickel’s response to the needs of indigenous peoples is a confirmation of the company’s flexibility and systematic work with local communities. Our agreement is a demonstration of the desire for sustainable development of the peoples of Taimyr. We constantly monitor the needs of specific communities and, in contact with the company, change the parameters of individual clauses of our agreements. Moreover, most of the changes are an increase in the number of events with an increase in funding for the most important support programs,” said Grigory Dyukarev, Chairman of the Association of the Indigenous Peoples of the Taimyr Peninsula, Krasnoyarsk Territory.

The company clarifies that an additional tranche of financing will be directed to the production of special literature, support for the publication of newspapers in the languages of the indigenous peoples of the North, preparation of teaching materials for language learning and some other activities.

“Nornickel strives to fully comply with the UN sustainable development goals. The company’s actions towards indigenous peoples are not a tribute to fashion, not an attempt to appease, but an honest, transparent and conscious position, the course of which is the development of corporate ethnoculture. We don’t just fund critical indigenous livelihoods and management programs, our goal is to build partnerships with all stakeholders: associations and specific communities. We always strive to respond to requests for adjustments to our support programs based on an urgent agenda that indigenous peoples themselves understand better than we do. Especially when it comes to supporting indigenous languages, promoting and protecting them. After all, language is the main vehicle for preserving the historical memory of generations, “commented Andrey Grachev, Vice President for Federal and Regional Programmes at Nornickel.

The agreement was signed at a round-table discussion on the results of an ethnological expert review to study the drivers of indigenous peoples sustainable development on Taimyr. In the period from December 2020 to July 2021, large-scale scientific studies of changes in the original habitat of the indigenous peoples of the North living in the western part of the Taimyr Dolgan-Nenets municipal district of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the socio-cultural situation. The scientific organisations that participated in the review included Miklukho-Maklai Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera), The Expert Center Project Office for Arctic Development and others. The representatives of the indigenous communities praised Nornickel’s openness and determination to remedy the damaging effects of the May 2020 incident on their habitats and livelihood, emphasizing the relevance and significance of the review not only for Taimyr, but also for many other Russian regions.

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Guterres: South-South cooperation ‘more essential than ever’

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India and Honduras have been working together on boosting the use of sustainable energy sources. UNDP Honduras

The UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) held a high-level virtual panel discussion on Friday focused on boosting solidarity “in support of a more inclusive, resilient and sustainable future”. 

Speaking at the event, the UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that “as the world seeks to ramp up COVID-19 response and recovery and tackle the existential threat of climate change, South-South and triangular cooperation is more essential than ever.” 

The initiative comes just two days before the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation, marked on 12 September.   

Challenge like no other 

António Guterres called the COVID-19 pandemic “the most complex immediate challenge facing our world and it is undermining hard won social, economic and environmental gains.” 

He said that, in such trying times, “the solidarity that underpins South-South cooperation has once again proven vital for developing countries.” 

“Throughout the pandemic, countries of the Global South have shared their knowledge and resources to support response and recovery efforts. But, together, we must do much more,” he said. 

For Mr. Guterres, the world needs deeper international cooperation to address the global health crisis, reduce poverty and inequality, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and avert climate catastrophe. 

The UN Chief explained “that means building inclusive and resilient societies, empowering women and youth, leveraging digital, greener and bluer initiatives, and expanding sustainable financing.” 

The countries of the South have contributed to more than half of the world’s growth in recent years. Intra-south trade is higher than ever, accounting for more than a quarter of all world trade. 

 “South-South and triangular cooperation offer concrete solutions to these shared challenges,” Mr. Guterres added. 

Recovering from the pandemic 

Speaking at the same event, the President of the General Assembly, Volkan Bozkir, said the world needs “to do more to help these developing countries in recovering from COVID-19 pandemic and South-South cooperation plays an important role in that regard.” 

“I have a lengthy list of facts and figures about the impact on developing countries, on anything from income to inequality, from gender empowerment to access to social services. Suffice to say, these figures are not good. Years of development gains have been wiped away or are in jeopardy,” he said.  

He said that, in his travels, particularly in Central Asia and in the Caribbean, he saw that South-South and triangular cooperation are pivotal to addressing challenges, particularly those that cross borders and regions. For him, UN country and regional teams are well placed to promote and support these efforts.

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