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Modi calls for World Bank reform at G20 finance meet

February 25, 2023 00:00:00

BENGALURU, India, Feb 24 (AFP): Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi added his voice Friday to calls for the reform of global lenders such as the World Bank, as G20 finance ministers and central bank heads met.

The talks in Bengaluru were expected to focus on the continuing damaging effects of the Covid pandemic and the Ukraine war, as well as debt relief for poorer nations reeling from high food and fuel prices.

"Trust in international financial institutions has eroded. This is partly because they have been slow to reform themselves," Modi said by video link as the two-day gathering began.

"Even as the world population has crossed eight billion, progress on sustainable development goals seems to be slowing down. We need to collectively work to strengthen multilateral development banks for meeting global challenges like climate change and high debt levels," he said.

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday in Bengaluru it was "critical that they integrate work on global challenges into their core mission to sustain progress on these priorities".

World Bank chief David Malpass earlier this month said he was stepping down a year early and on Thursday Washington nominated Indian-American former Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga as his successor.

Nominated by former US president Donald Trump, Malpass came under fire last year after he refused multiple times to say if he believed man-made emissions contributed to global warming.

It was unclear if delegates in Bengaluru would manage to agree a joint statement, in particular because of differences over the Ukraine war.

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