His Excellency the Saudi Minister of Finance, Mohammed Aljadaan, participated in the forum and Ministerial Meetings of the OPEC Fund for International Development, which were held June 20-21 in Vienna, Austria, with the participation of the Ministers of Finance of OPEC Fund's member states.
The forum included several sessions where participants discussed the current development landscape, the future of development financing, sustainable food systems, climate innovation for a sustainable future, and policies and partnerships that prioritize people and the planet.
During His keynote speech in the Forum under the theme “The Development Landscape and the Future of Development Finance," Aljadaan said that “Multilateral Development Banks are one of the main ways to support sustainable development globally, by providing multilateral solutions to development issues. They evidently made extraordinary efforts to support low- and middle-income countries since 2020."
However, he also noted that “while COVID-related challenges have subsided, the global economy is facing multiple overlapping challenges—including food insecurity, inadequate access to water and energy, rising debt levels, with the poorest countries affected the most. Thus, multilateral development banks need to reinvigorate themselves to deliver a more ambitious, nationally driven, and globally coordinated effort that improves peoples' lives in an inclusive, sustainable, and just manner."
In addition, on June 21 Minister Aljadaan Chaired the OPEC Fund Ministerial Council Meeting, which included a review of the Annual Report of the Fund and its financial statements, as well as an evaluation of its performance for the current year. The upcoming work program of the Fund was also discussed, along with the current landscape and future scenarios for international development, including the role of the Fund in supporting the client countries to achieve inclusive and sustainable development for all.
In his opening speech at the Ministerial Council, H.E. Aljadaan expressed his thanks to the members of the Board for electing him as the Chair of the Council for the coming year, noting that the Fund has achieved a lot, despite many global challenges.
He pointed out that the Fund's current mission is to enable it to achieve sustainable growth and deepen its development impact, saying that the Fund has grown in terms of both the volume of development finance—with a remarkable 48 new engagements and over $1.6 billion in loans. The newly established Development Effectiveness Report shows evidence that projects actually deliver impact and change peoples' lives.
OPEC Fund is a multilateral development finance institution based in Austria. It was established by the member states of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1976, with the aim of enhancing cooperation between the member states of OPEC and other developed countries to aid developing nations, especially low-income countries, in the pursuit of social and economic progress.
The Fund's Ministerial Council meets annually in Vienna, and the OPEC Fund focuses on people and projects that meet basic needs such as food, energy, clean water, sanitation, health care, and education with the aim of encouraging self-reliance and inspiring hope for the future.