Statements & Remarks

Statement by the Temporary Alternate Governor for the United States of America Alexia Latortue on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development Annual Meetings

On behalf of U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, I would like to thank the Government and people of Armenia for generously hosting the 2024 EBRD Annual Meetings of the Board of Governors. President Odile Renaud-Basso has steered the EBRD successfully over the past year through successful capital increase negotiations—on the heels of the Bank’s first-mover, quick and effective support to Ukraine—and the historic resolution on the Bank’s incremental expansion to sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq. 

This past year is emblematic of President Renaud-Basso’s leadership, resolve and consensus building throughout her first term. The United States is proud to support her reelection as President of the EBRD for the next four years.  I would also like to recognize and note our deep appreciation for the EBRD staff for their commitment and tireless work to support economic transition in the EBRD’s countries of operation and steadfastness in the face of crises.

As we gather here, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues to generate negative economic spillovers and undermine our work to promote sound and sustainable development.  The EBRD has been an essential partner in supporting Ukraine’s economy in the face of continued Russian aggression.  We recognize that the capital increase enables an ambitious plan to support Ukraine over the long term, through war and reconstruction. 

Strategic Direction of the Bank

The capital increase also includes robust policy commitments that we must now put into action as we develop the next five-year strategic plan for the EBRD, the Strategic and Capital Framework 2026-2030.  The new SCF lands in the midst of a pivotal global conversation on MDB evolution.  With its private sector focus and experience, the EBRD brings a unique perspective to MDB evolution, and can lead in finding innovative ways that the private sector, coupled with smart policy reforms, can help to address regional and global challenges such as climate change and conflict and fragility.  

The SCF should also serve to intensify the Bank’s delivery on its core transition mandate, including redoubling efforts in its least advanced transition countries of operations.  The SCF should also guide how, once again, the EBRD will bring its expertise to bear in new member countries.  Finally, the SCF should also outline how the Bank supports more advanced transition countries as they continue their journey to graduation from MDB financing, to draw more fully on their on domestic resources and capital markets. 

The United States warmly welcomes new members to the EBRD family, Benin and Iraq, looks forward to welcoming Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal, and we strongly support approving the memberships of Kenya and Nigeria.  We urge Management to collaborate with development actors with deep experience in its new members, focus on where it can have the greatest development impact and added value, and continuously learn from its experiences. To allow for implementation of expansion as envisioned by Governors, we encourage all shareholders to accept the amendment to Article 1 of the Agreement Establishing the Bank by the end of 2024. 

Strategic Priorities: Private Capital Mobilization and the Green Transition 

We support economic governance, green transition and inclusion as strategic themes for the SCF.  Achieving stronger outcomes along these themes will be underpinned by progress in the cross-cutting enablers of private capital mobilization and digitalization.  The EBRD is a leader on private capital mobilization and is one of the few MDBs to set and publish targets for private capital mobilization.  In the spirit of MDB evolution, we encourage the Bank to work closely with the other MDBs as a system to better leverage engagement through market and regulatory reforms, through greater efforts on project preparation, and through knowledge sharing with the other MDBs.  We want to see all MDBs continue to expand instruments, tools, and enhance incentives to raise private capital to meet global development challenges, including climate change, where the Bank has likewise been a leader. 

We welcome the EBRD’s inaugural approach to nature, and strongly support efforts to mainstream nature and biodiversity across sectors.  The upcoming Green Finance Strategy gives the EBRD a platform to raise its green ambition with greater green private capital mobilization and increasing investment in climate adaptation and nature and biodiversity.

Value Proposition for Borrowers

The MDB evolution agenda is also about improving the EBRD’s value proposition for borrowers, including on procurement.  We look forward to the upcoming review of procurement policies and underscore the importance of delivering value for money development outcomes.  We encourage the EBRD to consider ways to improve industry engagement, including increased outreach to generate more bids especially from the most qualified service providers from diverse countries. 

Another key MDB advantage for borrowers is on safeguards, transparency, and accountability, where the EBRD is a leader.  We welcome the reviews of the Environmental and Social Policy (ESP) and Access to Information Policy (AIP) underway this year and note that a review the Independent Project Accountability Mechanism (IPAM) is also being considered.  With these processes underway, it is a good time for the EBRD to consider more comprehensively how to exit investments responsibly and create a framework for remedial action for communities should project related harms occur.

With respect to gender and diversity, we congratulate Management on the Bank’s 2023 results, with a record 44% share of Gender SMART investments and a record 30% share of investments promoting equality of opportunity. The EBRD should set an example for its clients and countries of operation.  We thus welcome the Board’s initiative to join its peer Boards at sister IFIs in being transparent on its own diversity with the first report on Board Diversity and Inclusion. We must all recognize our responsibility as shareholders to set the tone for the institution as leadership comes from the top.  This includes but is not limited to gender diversity.  We look forward to updates annually. 


We have our work cut out for us and exciting opportunities lie ahead for this institution, whose foundation is built on the principles of democracy and building market economies.  As U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently said, “democracy is critical to building and sustaining a strong economy.”  With the geographic expansion and its transition mandate and international character, the EBRD is enhancing its reputation as an important player on the world stage.  The United States stands firmly by the EBRD and supports its mission as the bedrock of sustainable, inclusive, resilient, and market-driven development, serving in countries that promote multiparty democracy.