The 3rd International Conference on Global Sustainable Finance was held Karlsruhe 04-05 July 2013
There were 13 speakers and 64 participants. It was hosted by EOSD European Organization for Sustainable Development and the Municipality of Karlsruhe.
WFDFI Secretary General Mr. Nuri Birtek made a speech at the opening session. The speech, the program of the conference, the list of participants and papers presented can be accessed below.
The Speech of Secretary General Mr. Nuri Birtek:
Dear Mr Michael Kaiser, Head of Economic Development of Karlsruhe
Mr Arshad Rab, CEO, European Organization for Sustainable Development,
Mr. Octavio Peralta, SG, ADFIAP
Distinguished contributors, Ladies and Gentlemena,
A very good morning to you all, and a beneficial conference.
I take great pleasure in being among you in Karlsruhe and addressing you in my capacity as the secretary general of World Federation of Development Finance Institutions under whose auspices this conference is being organized. I would also thank Mr. Rab for extending an invitation.
Allow me to begin with an introduction to WFDFI.
WFDFI comprises of four associations of National Development Finance Institutions (NDFIs) which operate in the regions of four international development banks. These, in alphabetical order of their abbreviations, are AADFI, under African Development Bank, ADFIAP, under Asian Development Bank, ADFIMI, under Islamic Development Bank, and ALIDE, under Inter American Development Bank. The Federation represents some 350 NDFIs from four corners of the globe. It excludes EU. However, it must be noted that when the federation was formed some 34 yrs ago, KfW of Germany was among the signatories that founded the WFDFI. Today, Karlsruhe based European Organization for Sustainable Development is cooperating with WFDFI in the organization of this event. In other words the German connection is being sustained.
Now, coming to the substance of the conference let me begin with the famous adage that there are two certainties in life, they are the death and the taxes. Now we can add a third: the global financial crisis. As we are all aware global financial crisis have now become a second nature to us. Before one ends, another begins. Just as the pieces were being picked up , recovery was blown off course by European solvency crises. The IMF Director Madam Lagarde summarized the situation as “We have avoided the collapse in 2012, we should guard against the relapse in 2013 and now is certainly not the time to relax, No collapse, no relapse, no relax. And that’s exactly what 2013 is about”. Global financial crisis is certainly one of the challenges facing the development finance. Should the international financial system be redesigned? – Is therapy enough or should we go for a complete overhaul? Do we need more regulations on the banks? What are the restructuring requirements? I believe these are some of the issues that will be addressed by the talented speakers in the conference.
Another major crisis is the environmental crisis: our planet is warming rapidly with unknown and probable dire consequences down the line. Climate change is considered by some to be one of the greatest challenges of our times. Higher temperatures, rising sea levels, extreme weather conditions have far reaching impact on output and productivity as well as human and material losses suffered through disasters such as floods and hurricanes. In the past two years several global conferences and meetings were organized to tackle problems on a global scale.
Already investments that make energy generation less polluting and investments that reduce energy consumption are underway. They should be more widely spread to regions beyond North America, Europe and Asia which, together, account for nearly all green the investments. Again, a lot of emphasis is being placed on this critical issue in this conference and I am confident that the talented speakers will inform us on the most recent developments.
The conference will also be covering remedies for the alleviation of poverty through financial inclusion modalities like SME finance and MF as well as new finance instruments like ?slamic finance. Poverty has been the number one development agenda in many countries. A recent study we have made at ADFIMI revealed that the Gini coefficient for the world have improved somewhat between the years 1993 and 2011. Four sets of WB data was used to calculate world Gini coefficient for the years 1993, 2000,2004 and 2011. While the first three were all around 80%, 2011 figure improved by 8 units and was 72%. While this is certainly a move in the right direction, we should remember that it still means that there are still some 765 million people living under USD 1 per day and 2.22 billion people living under USD 2 per day.
Non of these major challenges, even if they are distinct, they feed off each other in an intricate interplay. They can not be addressed in isolation. The organizers have displayed their concurrence by dealing with all of these issues in a well balanced manner.
I would like to congratulate and thank the organizers for a well prepared conference, the contributors for sparing their valuable times and the participants for their very presence.
I sincerely wish every one a successful conference.