The Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) presidential election took place today. The IDB is an institution that plays an essential role in Latin America and the Caribbean by facilitating access to financing, contributing to the development and implementation of effective and sustainable public policies, and promoting the progress and quality of life for its people.
The Republic of Chile is one of the founding countries of the institution and has participated actively in its development since the beginning. The IDB’s first president was Felipe Herrera, a Chilean national.
Since its creation and without exception, in line with an unwritten agreement that had been honored until today, the IDB’s presidency had always been held by a national from Latin America and the Caribbean, while the vice-presidency had been held by a national from the U.S.A.
In contrast with previous IDB presidential elections that have taken place to date, this process was held in a virtual format and with a single candidate, Mr. Mauricio Claver-Carone, from the United States of America. The Government of Chile, represented by its Minister of Finance that serves as Governor at the IDB, decided to abstain. The decision to abstain was followed by a total of 16 countries that represented 31.23% of the IDB’s voting power.
As was expressed in the Minister of Finance’s statement dated August 6th, 2020, the Government of Chile believed that postponing the election for a few months was a prudent decision. This position was founded on the grave pandemic that is striking the world and the region, and that has demanded that our government’s concentrate their actions in battling it’s sanitary, economic, and social effects.
In this context, the additional time requested, and the reflection process we proposed would have allowed for a more substantive discussion on the IDB leadership, the region’s financial safety net, and the adequate institutional arrangements required to support the development challenges of the coming years. Postponing the election would have also allowed for other relevant actors to participate in the discussion, including current and former authorities, as well as eventually additional candidates to lead the IDB. These actors would have had to convene, promote dialogue, and build broad agreements.
Chile has actively contributed to the IDB’s development since its foundation. It has also been an active participant in strengthening the international financial architecture and of other regional and multilateral institutions, and it is committed to the norms and regulations that rule those institutions. As a member of the Inter-american Development Bank we will continue to actively participate in its governance, promoting reforms that seek greater flexibility and agility in its lending capacity, greater efficiency in the use of its resources, and engaging in a debate about a better future for the institution and the region.
Ignacio Briones R.
Minister of Finance of Chile and Governor to the IDB