A new World Bank-Civil Society Forum will be held each year. This results from a decision taken at the December NGO World Bank Committee meeting. The Committee, established in the 1980s as a channel for dialogue between NGOs and the Bank agreed that its annual meeting in Washington will be replaced by a larger annual Forum. This will convene about 100 representatives of NGOs, trade unions, community organizations, religious groups etc with expertise relevant to the topic chosen for that year. Each year’s forum will be decided and organized by a “Joint Facilitation Committee” which will be formed in collaboration with the NGO World Bank Working Group (WBWG) and other networks between now and June. The first Forum will be held later in the year.
The changes in the WBWG‘s role are partly in recognition that ever more organizations are engaged in discussions with the World Bank on a wide range of topics making it unclear why Working Group members should obtain privileged access to top-ranking Bank officials. The WBWG will continue to work on participation and capacity-building with the Bank and to facilitate regional and country consultations with the Bank.