Recent turbulence in financial markets and increased risks in the global economy mean that the 2011 Annual Meetings of the IMF and World Bank are taking place at a critical time for the global economy. Economic leaders will come together to assess the state of the world economy and discuss the policy actions needed to deal with today’s global economic challenges. About 10,000 policymakers, private sector and civil society representatives, journalists, and academics are expected to attend the Annual Meetings, which are set to take place on September 23–24. In an interview, Reza Moghadam, Director of the IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department, discusses the issues that are likely to receive most attention at the meetings.
The IMF has made a concerted effort to engage more actively with civil society organizations in recent years. And, an emphasis on change at the 2010 IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings provided the perfect opportunity to break new ground in our relationship with civil society. More civil society representatives came to the meetings than ever before, and those that came participated in a wider range of events. Many of those events took on a different flavor: one more conducive to a meaningful exchange of views. Civil society is thirsty for information about what we do, why we do it, and how. But this is also a two-way street. There is a lot at the IMF we can learn from civil society and we have to start by listening.
Asia’s voice is getting louder and the IMF—and, indeed, the world—is listening. Blogging from the IMF and government of Korea-sponsored “Asia 21” conference in Daejeon, Korea, IMF Deputy Managing Director Naoyuki Shinohara reflects on the rise of Asia’s voice and leadership in global economic policymaking. The caliber of conference participants and the quality of dialogue speak volumes about the range and depth of expertise and experience in the region. The world needs Asian leadership, not only to sustain global growth, but also to develop policy mechanisms to contend with tomorrow’s economic challenges.
The Korean government and the IMF will jointly host a high-level international conference in Daejeon, Korea in just a few days time. In this blog, Anoop Singh outlines how the conference will be an important part of broader efforts by the Fund to enhance its strategic dialogue and partnership with Asia.
There has been talk for years of the need for IMF governance reform by critics of the IMF. Now it is on the official agenda--and some of the civil society organizations (CSOs) who have been most interested and vocal on the subject have been participating in the debate with the IMF. Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn held a small meeting with civil society representatives from around the world--the final step of the so-called Fourth Pillar process.
The name, the Fourth Pillar, had a reason. Strauss-Kahn invited the CSOs to supplement the other three "pillars" who were submitting reports to the IMF on its governance--the IMF's Independent Evaluation Office, the Executive Board Working Group on IMF Corporate governance, and an independent panel chaired by then South African Finance Minister Trevor Manuel.
The gathering on October 1 in Istanbul, ahead of the IMF's Annual Meetings, was the culmination of a five-month consultation with civil society organizations. The Fourth Pillar representatives, chaired by Jo Marie Griesgraber of the Washington-based New Rules for Global Finance coalition, presented their final report to the Managing Director--which they had earlier discussed with the IMF Executive Board.