The urgent question of how to turn the billions to trillions and deliver the SDGs was the issue filling chairs in the World Bank’s Atrium as delegates came to here what solutions international financial and development institutions had to offer.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle joined a debate, which brought together the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Equitable Growth, Finance and Institutions Global Practice (EFI) of the World Bank, and the World Bank Group Senior Vice Presidency for the 2030 Development Agenda, as well as the EBRD to explore the role of public finance to achieve the SDGs.

Opening the discussion, Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank, said this was the most important issue of the Spring Meetings. And Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, clearly agreed. She said, “We need to deepen the partnerships - we haven’t yet turned the billions to trillions. The solutions lie in our young people and especially in our women. This is their future being laid out today.”

EIB Vice-President Fayolle provided the closing remarks to the debate, emphasising the role of technology and the digital agenda through projects like M-Birr In Ethiopia, he laid out how the EU Bank is working to deliver the SDGs: "The Bank is committed to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) since their launch in 2015 which promotes new partnerships to curb poverty, improve health and protect the Planet."

Vice-President Fayolle explained how a multilateral development bank like the EIB integrated SDGs into its business models. He notably stressed that, as the bank of the European Union, the EIB finances many infrastructure projects, which go far beyond roads and bridges and cut across the entire universe of the SDGs: from transport and connectivity, through education and event highlighted the need for unprecedented mobilisation of resources, partnerships, and knowledge at the global, national and subnational levels in order to meet the ambitious set of 17 SDGs.