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IMF-World Bank spring meetings: Ministers to focus on sustaining global recovery

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
Published Date:
April 2004
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When the world’s top financial officials meet at the IMF’s headquarters on April 24, a strengthening global economy will provide the backdrop for discussions on sustaining the recovery, sharpening IMF surveillance, strengthening the prevention and resolution of crises, and enhancing IMF support for low-income member countries.

Under the chairmanship of U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC)—whose 24 governors represent constituencies or groups of countries corresponding to the IMF’s Executive Board—is expected to stress the opportunities that a growing global economy can present. In this context, the IMFC is likely to examine the concerted and collaborative steps that can be taken to give solid momentum to the recovery, manage risks more effectively, and bolster country resilience.

More specifically, IMFC discussions are expected to follow up on issues raised during the 2003 annual meetings in Dubai and to set out an agenda for the lead-up to the 2004 fall meetings in Washington, D.C. Among the topics likely to be reviewed are improvements in the tools used to assess policy and conduct IMF surveillance, progress in identifying vulnerabilities early, and measures that could be taken to better define the IMF’s role in low-income countries, including a proposed debt sustainability framework. In addition, there will be progress reports on efforts to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism; initiatives on crisis resolution; developments on IMF quotas, voice, and representation; and the activities of the Independent Evaluation Office. A press conference by Acting Managing Director Anne Krueger and IMFC Chair Gordon Brown will conclude the IMFC proceedings.

The IMFC meeting will be followed on April 25 by a session of the Development Committee—a joint committee of the IMF and the World Bank governors. The Development Committee agenda is expected to be topped by the Global Monitoring Report on progress made toward achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The discussion, which is scheduled to be chaired by Trevor Manuel, South Africa’s Minister of Finance, is likely to also take up the background paper “Education for All” and a report on financing modalities for the MDGs. The Development Committee, like the IMFC, is expected to discuss the proposed framework for long-term debt sustainability for low-income countries.

A number of events will take place in advance of the formal IMF-World Bank spring meetings. Among these are the release, on April 21, of the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook and, on April 23, the meeting of the ministers of the Group of 24, representing developing countries, under the chairmanship of Conrad Enill, Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of Finance.

For additional information about the spring meetings, please see the IMF’s website (http://www.imf.org).

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