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.