World Bank-IMF spring meetings 2011
News||15 April 2011|
Ahead of the 2011 World Bank-IMF spring meetings, a meeting between UK NGOs, HM Treasury and the UK executive director to the IMF Alex Gibbs was held on 4 April. A meeting between UK NGOs, DFID and the UK executive director to the World Bank Susanna Moorehead took place on 6 April.
The 2011 spring meetings of the World Bank and IMF will take place from 15 to 17 April in Washington, DC. You will be able find links below to analysis of the communiqués as well as notes of some of the civil society and official meetings, as they become available.
Ongoing crises will continue to dominate the World Bank spring meetings. With food and commodity prices continuing to rise, the issue will be centre stage as it was in 2008. Some donors are pushing for increased contributions to the Bank's Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, but commitments are likely to remain way below those promised by the G8 in 2009 (see Update 74). Though the Bank's approach to agriculture continues to draw sharp criticism, particularly thanks to the activities of the International Finance Corporation (IFC, the Bank's private sector arm), the focus of Ministers is likely to be funding, not policy.
The launch of the delayed World Development Report (WDR) on conflict, security and development has also pushed conflict-fuelled crises onto the agenda of the Bank's Development Committee. Though the WDR will be styled as a roadmap for the whole system, including the United Nations, which has traditionally taken a leading role in this area, analysts predict that implementing its recommendations would require structural change to the Bank's ways of working.
In the background, however, significant changes to the Banks systems, policies and procedures are already underway, with the launch of consultations on the Bank's new Program for Results (P4R) lending instrument (see Update 75). However critics will point out the tokenistic nature of the consultations - begun after the instrument had already been designed - and warn that, coupled with the ongoing safeguards review (see Update 75), environmental and social standards could be watered down.
Meanwhile, familiar themes are likely to preoccupy Finance Ministers gathered for the IMF's meetings. With Portugal joining the growing ranks of eurozone countries signing up to austerity measures (see Update 75)in return for IMF funding, and the twin shocks of the Japanese earthquake and revolutions and unrest in North Africa and the Middle East, concerns about the fragility of global recovery will set the tone.
However, it seems unlikely that the assembled politicians will make any real headway on the key underlying issues that surfaced at the Fund's annual meetings last autumn, in particular the issue of currency misalignments, and continuing problems of huge global imbalances. In the background, developing countries will continue to argue for greater space to manage their own economies and protection from global instability, including by fighting any attempts to limit their ability to control financial flows through capital controls (see Update 75).
Meanwhile, campaigners will continue to ramp up the pressure to ensure that the windfall profits made by the IMF from sales of excess gold reserves go to debt cancellation for poor countries. However, IMF board members are also considering using the excess cash to boost the IMF's administrative budget or increase its reserves.
Bretton Woods Project detailed analysis of the content of the communiqués is available.
The papers for the spring 2011 International Monetary and Finance Committee meeting, scheduled for Saturday 16 April, are now online on the IMF's website. They include the following:
The papers for the spring 2011 Development Committee meeting, scheduled for Saturday 16 April, are now online on the World Bank's website. They include the following:
Below we will bring the highlights from the communiqués at the spring meetings, including the G24, G20, IMFC and Development Committee. You will also be able to find detailed coverage of all communiqués in our dedicated article.
G24 meeting: (deeper analysis, original document).
G20 meeting: (deeper analysis, original document).
International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) meeting: (deeper analysis, original document).
Development Committee meeting: (deeper analysis, original document).
Read the Bretton Woods Project's detailed analysis of the content of the communiqués and the story behind the position.
For a complete listing of civil-society events, briefings, press releases, and a blog, see the Bank Information Center.
The World Bank's schedule of civil society events is also available.
Click on the titles below for minutes of sessions attended by the Bretton Woods Project and other NGOs.
Return here for highlights of meetings hosted by civil society organisations.
This text may be freely used providing the source is credited.
Published: 15 April 2011 , last edited: 26 April 2011
Viewings since posted: 9488
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