World Bank president Jim Yong Kim and Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Amman met for a conference on 23 August 2017 in Bern to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Switzerland joining the World Bank.
Switzerland decided to join the World Bank in a referendum that took place in 1992. 56% of the voters were in favour of joining the Bretton Woods institutions, the International Monetary Funds (IMF) and the World Bank.
The anniversary conference discussed the Bank’s successes and challenges of the past 25 years; it also explored future avenues to the World Bank’s contribution towards reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals and reducing poverty worldwide.
Jim Yong Kim praises Swiss commitment
President Kim appreciated the relationship based on partnership and the positive impact Switzerland has had as an important contributor and long-standing member of the World Bank Group. He said that this was especially true in the promotion of the private sector, the creation of work places and dealing with issues such as water, the environment, climate change and vulnerability in a responsible way. Mr Kim also talked about how the World Bank Group can achieve its goals of ending dire poverty and promoting shared prosperity. He showed the new instruments and approaches applied to facilitate economic growth, invest in people and improve resilience when confronted with disruption and danger.
Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann, Swiss Governor at the World Bank, emphasised the institution’s significant role when dealing with challenges like climate change, financial crises, natural disasters or migration flows. He stressed the importance of maintaining the World Bank’s independence. Mr Schneider-Ammann invited the World Bank not to dissipate time and energy but to focus on its key competencies and to be more selective whit its credit approvals.
A pre-conference took place one day before the anniversary conference: 25 YEARS SWITZERLAND – WORLD BANK: STOCK TAKING AND OUTLOOK.
* Since ‘Yes’ posters from 1992 are not available, SECO has created its own, using passages taken from the 1992 explanatory pamphlet.
Last modification 26.02.2018