EIB Group President Nadia Calviño participated at the Financing for Development Forum, organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Council at the UN Headquarters on 23 April 2024.

Check against delivery


It’s a great pleasure to be here today – and to participate in the important discussions here at the United Nations Financing for Development Forum on what impactful development cooperation looks like. 

I have just returned from the IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington, where this was also at the heart of the debates.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are our globally agreed strategy to set humanity on the road towards a fairer, greener and healthier future. They are also key drivers for a safer world, as all these elements are closely interrelated and contributing to economic and social stability, thriving communities, strong democracies and peaceful conflict resolution.

As a proud member of the family of Multilateral Development Banks, the European Investment Bank is strongly engaged in the ongoing work to deepen our collaboration, to strengthen the framework of development financing and increase the impact and scale of our collective efforts to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals - which are enshrined in the EIB’s DNA.  

I am pleased to say that we have made real progress this week.

On Saturday, the 10 heads of the MDBs’ meeting in Washington agreed joint steps and initiatives and a clear roadmap with targets and with dates, to make progress in five critical areas to strengthen the multilateral financial system and deliver greater impact and scale, with projects that can improve people’s lives and well-being.

  1. We will continue to scale up the financing capacity of the development finance network.
  2. We´ll develop our tools to boost action on climate change and nature protection.
  3. Strengthen collaboration and co-financing, through country platforms, the project portal and mutual reliance on each other´s standards and processes.
  4. We´ll explore innovative tools to catalyse private sector investment.
  5. We´ll reinforce our methodologies for evaluation and communication of results and impact.

The impact of this global network of development financial institutions is undeniable. Over the next decade, Multilateral Development Banks expect to generate additional lending headroom in the order of $300 to 400 billion, with the support of shareholders and partners.

While we will continue to implement the G20 Capital Adequacy Framework and there are already many innovative financing partnerships which we can scale up.

Crucially too, we can also work alongside our partners in the United Nations, drawing on your unique expertise and presence on the ground.  Our impact can be even greater if we reinforce these important partnerships.   

For example, the EIB Group, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the European Commission are all working together to eradicate polio in the next five years – maybe earlier than that. For good. Indeed, when I met Dr Tedros, he was insisting we can do it earlier than that.

The funds will cover polio vaccinations for nearly 370 million children annually.

And look at what we achieved through the COVAX facility.

By working together, and that’s an alliance of private vaccine companies, UNICEF, the World Health Organisation, the European Investment Bank, and others, we delivered nearly 2 billion COVID vaccine doses to 146 countries, avoiding an estimated 2.7 million deaths.

Alongside our fellow MDB’s and our partners in the UN ecosystem, we’re working on many other common initiatives that could play an important role in delivering the SDGs.

Last week I was able to discuss with Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados our joint pilot project towards what would be the first ever Debt-for-Climate Swap. The EIB, with support from the European Commission, and the Inter-American Development Bank are working to co-guarantee the transaction, with savings in interest rate payments allocated to climate resilience investments, especially for water reuse and treatment, that will reinforce the resilience of the country without increasing debt levels.

Let me leave you with a final thought.

The multilateral system that you represent has served us well for the last 80 years. But the global order is now being put to the test, the tectonic plates which have been supporting it are shifting, leading to crashes and leaving gaps which we as multilateral institutions must do our utmost to bridge.  

The Sustainable Development Goals provide us with the roadmap to do precisely that. It is not a matter of future generations. It is about our peace and security. Now.

Reinforcing the global financial safety net with a sound framework for cooperation among multilateral partners is more important than ever in these challenging times.

In the midst of today’s strains and conflict some might wonder if the Sustainable Development Goals are still as relevant as they were.

Well, they are more relevant than ever.

As the former UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said , they are a declaration of interdependence, connecting territories, connecting public policies, connecting generations and keeping us united.

They are our compass, pointing the way towards a better future for humankind.

You can count on the EIB to contribute to this endeavour.

I wish you a very productive session and look forward to the Fourth International Conference on Financing for Development, taking place in my home country, Spain, in June 2025.

Thank you.