Joint Declaration by the world's Public Development Banks

published on 12 November 2020
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Joint Declaration of All Public Development Banks in the World
The following joint declaration was signed at the Finance in Common Summit in Paris on November 12, 2020.

We, Public Development Banks of the world, gathered for the first time in Paris, commit to support the transformation of the global economy and societies towards sustainable and resilient development. Today, it is essential that we build back better, by simultaneously designing and acting for sustainable, equitable and inclusive outcomes and impacts, leaving no one behind.

To this end, we affirm our determination to collectively shift our strategies, investment patterns, activities and operating modalities to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs and the objectives of the Paris Agreement, while responding to the Covid-19 crisis.

For greater impact, we are committed to join forces and form a global coalition of all PDBs around the world.

Additionally, we welcome Governments’ support and measures aiming at unleashing our potential to better serve their policies. We also invite all our stakeholders to increase cooperation and partnership with us to “finance in common”, to better support, collectively and in each and every country,the global agenda.



The Covid-19 pandemic and its subsequent socio-economic crisis is generating profound and enduring impacts for People and the Planet. The crisis reveals and amplifies our vulnerabilities and inequalities, reconsidering our development models. It leads us to rethink and factor in environmental and social issues in our production and consumption modes in order to build more just and resilient societies.

Disruptions generate opportunities for major transformations. How we respond to the crisis will have long-lasting and potentially irreversible consequences. It is essential that we build back better, by protecting our natural capital and working to deliver sustainable, equitable and inclusive outcomes, leaving no one behind. Recovering from Covid-19 and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the objectives of the Paris Agreement are one and the same, i.e. interlaced and complementary goals to be pursued together.

Finance is a major trigger for change. Solutions are urgently needed, aligned with the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement, collectively set in 2015, to unlock the potential of all financial flows, public and private and help shift current development pathways towards sustainability. Short-term decision-making must be aligned with longer-term goals.

The time has now come for consistent action of all global finance players. As Public Development Banks (PDBs), we have always been active in times of crisis, striving to provide and catalyze sustainable finance on a global scale. Serving the public interest, we are uniquely placed to help reconcile recovery and sustainability.

  1. As PDBs, we have a unique role and responsibility in the financial system

We are 450 Public Development Banks, distributed across every region of the world, operating at local, national, regional, international or multilateral levels. Our institutions range from generalist or specialized, supporting small and medium enterprises, agriculture and food systems, housing, trade, as well as development finance institutions focused on the private sector. Our diversity is our strength. We commend the particular role of the multilateral development banks (MDBs) within our community. They are important financial partners and platforms for knowledge and cooperation. Along with other international development banks, they have facilitated networking among PDBs, including by supporting the emergence and activities of our regional associations.

We, Public Development Banks, form a community for action. We are united by three attributes: (i) we are owned, controlled or supported by governments; (ii) we execute a public, development-oriented mandate, addressing market inconsistencies; (iii) we enjoy independent legal status and financial autonomy. Combined, the volume of funding invested by the community of all PDBs amounts to about USD 2.3 trillion annually –10 percent of the total investments in the world every year by all public and private sources.

As such, we have a unique role to play in the financial system. With our public mandates and roots in our respective economic and social fabrics, we build bridges between governments and the private sector; between domestic and international agendas; between global liquidity and microeconomic solutions; and between short-term and longer-term priorities. We can significantly contribute to reorienting global finance towards climate and SDGs.

We provide solutions, both financial and non-financial, to deliver public services, to build quality infrastructure, to catalyze markets or to improve market functions. We are able to deliver both the first mile and the last mile, before, after, or in conjunction with private finance. We represent a “visible hand” that can help mobilize, secure and direct the finance we need for the future we want.

We can provide urgent and counter-cyclical responses during times of crisis. Once again, today, all PDBs are mobilized, fighting the economic and social impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. We are playing our role to relaunch the global economy by providing a wide range of public investments, contributing to support health systems as well as to address the exacerbating inequalities generated by the crisis, the drying up of private financing, and subsequent unemployment as well as poverty issues.

We are pursuing long-term objectives of reducing inequalities, protecting the planet and promoting sustainable, inclusive and equitable development. This means preparing for a post-Covid-19 world that requires a long-awaited paradigm shift to make the recovery a resilient, inclusive and sustainable one. Decision-making processes and financing, too often driven by short-term considerations, need to be aligned with longer-term objectives.

Read the full declaration here