GIS – Dr. Warren Smith was re-elected to serve a second five year term as President of the Caribbean Development Bank. The decision was made by the Board of Governors of the CDB, who represent 27 member countries of the regional multilateral financial institution. The decision was confirmed on Nov. 6, with the new term officially beginning on May 1.
Smith was first elected president on Oct. 29, 2010 and assumed office on May 1, 2011. At that time, many of the bank’s borrowing member countries (BMCs) were dealing with a myriad of development problems made more acute by the recession of 2008.
Smith, CDB’s fifth president, committed to making the bank a more creative and reliable partner which would respond effectively to countries’ need to build resilience against external shocks.
Improving responsiveness meant strengthening the CDB’s internal governance; introducing additional measures to facilitate greater transparency and accountability; portfolio diversification and improving operational efficiency. Other reforms included: establishing a centralised Office of Risk Management; a new independent Office of Integrity, Compliance and Accountability; and upgrading the internal audit, independent evaluation, corporate communications and information disclosure functions.
Throughout the period, the CDB has actively promoted private sector-led growth and stability by assisting BMCs to design, finance and implement robust macro-economic programs.
The CDB sought accreditation to the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund as a way of equipping countries to confront the ongoing threat of climate change. Concerted effort has also been made to identify partnerships and funding for suitable climate resilience projects, especially in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and climate adaptation.
The Bank has been encouraging countries to improve competitiveness through energy diversification, which includes accessing indigenous, renewable sources.
Looking ahead to the next five years, Smith maintains that strengthening economic and environmental resilience to safeguard growth, while driving down poverty in Caribbean countries will remain paramount. He noted that the Caribbean’s development agenda will be informed by the new sustainable development goals of the global community.