With much fanfare, the Board of the IMF approved the Trade Integration Mechanism in April, a new insurance policy to entice developing countries back to the multilateral trade table.
Organised by the UK Department for International Development, the World Bank, IMF and UNDP, a two-day conference held in London 8-9 December gathered officials, agency representatives and academics to discuss the links between trade, growth and poverty. The objective of the conference was to provide direction on how to integrate trade into national development strategies.
Concerns have been raised about a new high-level initiative involving the World Bank and selected civil society groups.
A leaked copy of the evaluation of the Integrated Framework for trade-related capacity building for Least Developed Countries should lead observers to question the World Bank's chief role in the initiative.
The Financing for Development (FfD) process held its first high-level follow-up to assess progress over three days in New York, 28 - 30 October.
Interim report of evaluator Capra International to the heads of agencies of the Integrated Framework for trade-related technical assistance 10 July 2003 in Washington.
In recent months, the World Bank has been leading the charge to increase the harmonisation of donor policies and further coherence between the Bank, the IMF and the WTO.
The Integrated Framework for Technical Assistance to the Least Developed Countries (IF) is a multi-agency initiative to coordinate national ministries, donors and multilateral agencies in the provision of trade-related capacity building.
The heads of the World Bank and IMF spoke to the General Council - the highest-level decision-making body of the World Trade Organisation - on 13 May on the benefits of increasing coherence between their respective agencies. Civil society groups counter that the use of the word 'coherence' is a ruse designed to bring countries in line with a set of flawed economic policies.
As if the debate on Special and Differential Treatment (SDT) at the WTO wasn’t heated enough, the World Bank has decided to up the temperature a little with its own, highly partisan, contribution.