CSO Townhall meeting

Istanbul, 2 October 2009

8 October 2009 | Minutes


Dominique Strauss-Kahn, IMF managing director
Robert Zoellick, World Bank president

Introductory Comments

Zoellick – these meetings will focus on: food security; a special IDA window for shocks; safety nets and emergency finance; voice and representation; climate change in relation to the World Development Report

DSK – things are improving but we shouldn’t go for exit strategies yet; the IMF is changing too to match the challenges; we should all be careful not to be protectionist

Discussion and Questions

Questioner – need parity of voice of developing countries at World Bank, but that has to mean middle and low income countries, not including Singapore, or South Korea

Questioner – I met Mr. Zoellick 3 years ago and told you we didnt want your project in our town in Russia, there project has no support locally, I have a document and CD with petitions and evidence, why do you still pursue this project?

Questioner – what role does the World Bank see for CSOs? How can we cooperate?

Zoellick response

  • need to governance reform done by spring meetings 2010, can’t reopen discussion of terms, lets get a good outcome not a perfect outcome; “Frankly I think 3% is not ambitious enough”
  • Saudis could lose some votes, Europeans are reluctant, by size African countries lose, some have to lose, and this is hard
  • Shares are not the whole story, it is also about staff, culture at the Bank, working with countries
  • On CSOs – we need to encourage CSO and disclosure/transparency; CSO can have many different and positive roles
  • On the Russian project, I will look into it and get back to you

DSK response

  • It is a bit unfair to count South Korea as a developing country
  • It is not only quota – real voice, staff, diversity are all important

Questioner – there is a climate crisis and we need a deal at Copenhagen, what role will World Bank play to secure agreement, what will the World Bank do to help?

Questioner – Zoellick called for 0.7% percent of stimulus as aid, how has the response been to this call? Are you really going to be able to triple lending?

Questioner – the most vulnerable are those with disabilities, what work do you have on the disabled?

Zoellick response

  • On climate – our mission is to help developing countries, we do what works like climate funds and carbon funds, REDD; we are doing what works and showing how projects can be done ie CTF lending, energy efficiency, systems to stop deforestation
  • But we have to be careful to be a support mechanism because there is a UN negotiation
  • On additional aid – we have has $8 or $9 billion in additional contributions; we are going to lend $40 bln from IBRD; IDA increased 25% but envelope is fixed by donors; IFC is moving into lots of IDA countries
  • We agree disability must be part of development plans and integrated, we can follow up with our specific work

Questioner – there are many crises, for example food, can’t donors contribute 1% of budgets

Questioner – the crisis is impacting workers, what will you do on employment and labour; and programmes for youth?

DSK response

  • We have programme with countries that want them, but for vulnerable groups we don’t do directly; but we are trying to protect social sectors
  • Ownership of programmes is key – we want to do outreach, to explain, transparency is necessary for ethical and effectiveness reasons

Zoellick response

  • on food we need to invest, especially in women; we are working on South-South solution in humanitarian crises
  • social safety nets are key especially for women and girls, we are looking at conditional cash tranfer (CCT) programmes; also trying to work on improving microfinance
  • on transparency – we are moving to a negative list system, we will implement by 30 June 2010