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Governor Wenzel addresses 25th Lisbon Forum on development and SDGs

26 November 2019

LISBON - The Governor of the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) Rolf Wenzel participated in the 25th Lisbon Forum of the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, which took place in Lisbon on 25 and 26 November.  Governor at Lisbon Forum

The European Centre for Global Interdependence and Solidarity of the Council of Europe, commonly known as the "North-South Centre”, was established in Lisbon in 1989. The Centre, which also counts among its members non-Council of Europe member states, aims to foster dialogue between North and South, promote solidarity, and raise awareness of regional interdependence.  

This year’s Lisbon Forum, the 25th such annual event, had as its overarching theme: “Bridging the Paradigm: the Relation between Development and Human rights, the Rule of Law and Democracy – Achieving Together the Sustainable Development Goals”. The event was spread over two days and attracted a large number of high-profile speakers and guests.  

Governor Wenzel delivered an address conveying the CEB’s perspective on the conference theme. In his speech, he outlined the ways in which the CEB actively supported the core values of the Council of Europe through its financing of social infrastructure projects in its member countries. He also stressed that human rights, democracy and the rule of law were key ingredients for sustainable success and that the successful outcome of CEB operations depended on the presence and functioning of democratic, transparent institutions and procedures in CEB countries of operation.          

Concerning the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mr Wenzel said that “SDG implementation cannot be guaranteed by any one actor alone” and stressed that the CEB strived to “guide its member countries towards incorporating the SDGs into their policy framework and, more importantly, help them to mobilise the necessary funds in order to achieve them.”  

Set up in 1956, the CEB (Council of Europe Development Bank) has 41 member states. Twenty-two Central, Eastern and South Eastern European countries, forming the Bank's target countries, are listed among the member states. As a major instrument of the policy of solidarity in Europe, the Bank finances social projects by making available resources raised in conditions reflecting the quality of its rating (AA+ with Fitch Ratings, outlook positive, AAA with Standard & Poor's, outlook stable and Aa1 with Moody's, outlook stable). It thus grants loans to its member states, and to financial institutions and local authorities in its member states for the financing of projects in the social sector, in accordance with its Articles of Agreement.

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