Washington: The World Bank should take on added reform measures over the rest of this year, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Wednesday. The top US official said that the World Bank must undertake additional reforms to help developing countries meet global challenges such as climate change.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday participated in the roundtable on 'Multilateral Development Bank Evolution: Building Shareholder Consensus' hosted by the US Department of Treasury Secretary at World Bank headquarters.

Secretary Yellen in her remarks stated, "There is an urgent call for the evolution of the multilateral development bank system to meet better the challenges we face in an interconnected world."

"Now, almost 80 years after the founding of the World Bank, we call on these MDBs to evolve again to take decisive action on 21st-century global challenges and redouble their vital development and poverty reduction work," urged Yellen.

According to the Finance Ministry, India's discussion focused on the impact of global development challenges like climate change, pandemics, fragility and conflict on development progress, and reforms at the World Bank.

Sitharaman highlighted two fundamental issues, concerning MDB Evolution, namely, the building consensus on the definition of global development challenges, and augmenting the financial and operational capacity of the World Bank Group.

According to the ministry, the finance minister said that in the true spirit of multilateralism, the MDB Evolution dialogue needs to be inclusive, consensus-based, and recognise in full measure, the development perspectives and priorities of client countries.

Yellen also said upcoming events could be leveraged to keep momentum strong for the evolution of the World Bank. Those included the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact to be hosted by France in June, the Group of 20 Leaders' Summit in India in September, the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Morocco in October, and the United Nations COP28 climate conference to be held in Dubai in November and December.

On Tuesday, Sitaraman engaged in a bilateral meeting with her US counterpart. Yellen lauded India's leadership on the issue of reform of MDBs.

Yellen also added that the US seeks G20's help in achieving reforms. "The G20 can bring strong political momentum to bear to make sure that the multilateral development banks accelerate their work on 21st-century global challenges as part of their effort to end extreme poverty and expand shared prosperity," the top US official stated.

At the MDB Roundtable Yellen further said, "In the coming weeks, we will elect new leadership at the World Bank that can carry this work forward. I believe that Ajay Banga - U.S. nominee for President of the World Bank - is the right leader to take the baton from President Malpass and accelerate our work to evolve this institution."

On the sidelines of the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, Yellen also reaffirmed American support for Ajay Banga as the nominee for the World Bank president and stressed his Indian roots. The former Mastercard chief is the nominee for the job and is expected to take over later this summer.

Later today, the finance minister is scheduled to participate in a Global Sovereign Debt Roundtable, BRICS FMCBG, Development Committee Plenary, and a G20 working dinner. The minister in between will also participate in a few bilateral meetings.