Sustainable development

Federal Minister Müller starts dialogue on values with World Bank President Kim

Federal Minister Gerd Müller and the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, in talks with leading representatives of the main religions and of faith-based de­vel­op­ment organisations.

13.05.2014 |

Today Federal Minister Gerd Müller discussed values and religion with the President of the World Bank Group, Jim Yong Kim, and leading rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the main religions and of faith-based de­vel­op­ment or­ga­ni­sa­tions. The central focus of the discussion was the importance that the main religions can have as partners for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment.

"Values are the foundation for the lives we live together," said Minister Müller. "Since de­vel­op­ment policy that has its basis in values is very im­por­tant to me, I am seeking to engage in dialogue with faith communities. Religion can build bridges and motivate people to take action on behalf of others and for the sake of the en­vi­ron­ment. We have neglected this potential for far too long. It is very im­por­tant for us that im­por­tant in­ter­national institutions such as the World Bank and President Kim are part of this debate. If we want to strengthen cultural dialogue worldwide and make the values that bind us together the basis of our de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion, then we must work with one another."

Participants in the high-level meeting included, among others, the President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, the Chair of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman A. Mazyek, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the main churches, the President of the Protestant De­vel­op­ment Service Bread for the World, Cornelia Füllkrug-Weitzel, and the President of the Foundation Weltethos, Eberhard Stilz.

The dialogue with World Bank President Kim and representatives of the main religions marks the start of a broad initiative by the BMZ for a values-based de­vel­op­ment policy. Within the Ministry a team for "Values, Religion and De­vel­op­ment" has been set up with members from various BMZ directorates.

Prior to the dialogue meeting the Minister and the World Bank President met for bilateral talks. Müller assured President Kim of his support for the on­going process of reform at the World Bank Group. The core element of the World Bank reforms is a strategy adopted last year, whose objective is overcoming absolute pov­er­ty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity so that more of the poorer people in the individual coun­tries may share in the benefits of the de­vel­op­ment process. Within the context of the process of reform and strategic realignment, Germany is a strong advocate for es­tab­lish­ing climate and sus­tain­a­bil­i­ty aspects as firm elements of future de­vel­op­ment activities.

In his meeting with President Kim the Minister underlined Germany's interest in stepping up its collaboration with the World Bank, especially in con­nec­tion with global climate protection, but also with regard to rural de­vel­op­ment and co­op­er­a­tion with Africa. One of the goals being pursued is the founding of a centre of excellence for land man­age­ment in Africa. Furthermore, co­op­er­a­tion between the BMZ and the World Bank Group in connection with coun­tries in crisis or facing conflict situations is to be expanded.

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