Commonwealth and IsDB Partner for Green and Digital Transition
The Commonwealth Secretariat and the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on June 21, 2023, in Paris to explore avenues for collaboration on climate action and digital transformation and to work towards strengthening the economic and development aspirations of our shared member states.
There are 14 common member states between the two organisations, and the MoU identifies fifteen priority areas of cooperation to leverage both organisations’ collective knowledge, skills, and financial resources. These areas encompass crucial sectors such as trade and investment, digital industrialisation, climate finance, debt management, women’s economic empowerment, ocean governance, and the blue economy. The collaboration aims to provide vital support for the recovery and resilience of developing and small states, particularly those most vulnerable to global economic disruptions.
Speaking at the MoU signing, Commonwealth Secretary-General Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC said:
“This collaboration will provide us with increased opportunities and improved access to tap into our collective ideas, knowledge, skills and combined resources to serve our common members’ development needs. The fifteen proposed areas of cooperation along with our combined advocacy and convening power can provide vital support to our developing and small states who are combatting the multiple crises caused by the impact of the pandemic, climate change and threats to food security.”
During the meeting, IsDB President, H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser acknowledged the adverse consequences of ongoing geopolitical and trade tensions, highlighting the potential risk and economic challenges it posed. He emphasised the Bank’s commitment to expanding joint support for green and digital transitions in countries shared by both organisations.
The Commonwealth Secretariat has been conducting analysis on improving opportunities for countries through targeted interventions, such as addressing supply-side constraints with innovative and digital technologies. Additionally, they are working on developing digital industrialisation policies, enhancing connectivity through ICT and e-commerce, and creating effective legal and regulatory frameworks to facilitate trade.
The partnership between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the IsDB will also focus on advancing women’s economic empowerment, addressing gender violence against women and girls, and supporting climate-related initiatives. With the ongoing climate challenges and the impact of the recent cyclone in Pakistan, their joint efforts in ocean governance and the blue economy are deemed time-sensitive and crucial.
Furthermore, the IsDB’s expertise in finance will contribute to increasing access to trade finance for small states within the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Small States Trade Finance Facility, which aims to expand its scope by partnering with financial institutions in additional small states, will receive support through this collaboration.
The signing of the MoU between the Commonwealth Secretariat and the IsDB reflects their commitment to building resilient and innovative economies. By leveraging their combined resources and expertise, they aim to foster sustainable growth and inclusive development, leaving no member country behind.
Both organizations have shared member states, including Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Gabon, Gambia, Guyana, Malaysia, Maldives, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Uganda. The MoU covers a three-year period from 2023 to 2026.