IFI governance

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Calls for IMF quota reform implementation

2 December 2013


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Countries have continued to express concerns over the failure to complete the 2010 IMF quota reform. In a joint statement in October, Russian president Vladimir Putin and Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh “stressed the necessity to create a more representative and legitimate international financial architecture”.  A review of the IMF voting rights, scheduled to take place this year and end in January 2014, has stalled owing to the failure of the US Congress to implement the prior review (see Update 85, 86). Developing countries have long been concerned that a group of major shareholder nations are overrepresented in the Fund and take advantage of their position (see Update 84).

During the October IMF annual meetings, South Africa’s minister of finance, Pravin Gordhan, called the existing mechanism for determining voting rights at the IMF “phenomenally biased against small emerging and developing countries, resulting in a profound negative impact on the Fund’s credibility, legitimacy and effectiveness”. In the same meeting, Argentina’s minister of economy and public finance, Hernán Lorenzino, declared that “the stagnant process … puts forward the deepened democratic deficit of the institution”. Australian foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, indicated in a November address to the Commonwealth foreign ministers that IMF reform will be part of their agenda during the G20 Australian presidency (starting January 2014), suggesting that limited progress can be expected before that.