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Accountability

News

High-level UN meeting debates IFI governance

26 May 2003

On 14 April a high-level meeting of the UN Economic and Social Affairs Council (ECOSOC) was held with the World Bank, IMF and the WTO on “increased coherence, coordination and cooperation for the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus”.

Prior to the high-level meeting, members of civil society and the private sector met to highlight key issues. Civil society called for the Bank and Fund to become more “accountable, participatory and transparent”, in particular recommending a reallocation of voting power to developing countries, increasing the number of developing country Executive Directors, requiring formal votes and making these public. They urged that steps be taken to ensure adequate input from parliaments, civil society, trade unions, and the private sector.

Ministers and other participants at the main ECOSOC meeting reiterated the civil society concerns. Many commented that the very limited steps discussed at the recent Bank/Fund Spring Meetings were insufficient to implement the Monterrey agreement. Several participants stressed that domestic policy should be determined domestically, and complained that international institutions were “frequently inclined to lecture countries regarding appropriate policy approaches.”