IN THIS EDITION:
-> 1. Special coverages
-> 2. News
-> 3. Reports
-> 4. Statements
-> 5. Campaigns
-> 6. Special websites
1. SPECIAL COVERAGES
-> World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings - Washington D.C., April 2007
This year's meetings will be remembered for the scandal that put Paul Wolfowitz's position at risk. This controversy overshadowed the debate on others substantive issues.
*** All events on Choike's website
-> IMF and World Bank face declining authority as Venezuela announces withdrawal
Venezuela's decision to pull out of the IMF and the World Bank will be seen in the United States as just another example of the ongoing feud between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the Bush Administration. But it is likely to be viewed differently in the rest of the world, and could have an impact on both institutions, whose power and legitimacy in developing countries has been waning steadily in recent years.
-> Ecuador in the spotlight as Government seeks to renegotiate debt on its terms
Ecuador has been in the media spotlight over recent months. It has many rich country governments, multilateral institutions and the international capital markets in a state of anxiety about what steps the government will take to honour (or not) regular payments on its external debt burden. In April, at an international seminar on the illegitimacy of the country's external debt, organised by Jubilee 2000 Red Guayaquíl, Ricardo Patiño, Ecuador's Minister for the Economy and Finance announced ambitious new budget plans for the period 2006-2010.
-> Wolfowitz scandal dominates Fund-Bank meetings
Once again, institutional controversy has eclipsed substantive focus at the biannual meetings of the Word Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) governors - the scandal surrounding World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz overshadowed the agenda items and other issues on the table at the Spring Meetings in Washington DC this weekend.
-> The Argentinian participation in the IMF/WB Spring Meetings
Argentinian Economy Minister, Felisa Miceli, took part in Washington in several activities within the framework of the Spring meetings held jointly by the IMF and the World Bank. In all her presentations she expressed a critical view of both institutions, shared by many Latin Americans. Miceli led the group of 24 countries (G-24), from where she tries to advocate in favour of a reform of the IFIs.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
* Update on Bank of the South: Reflection of declining IFIs relevance in Latin America
The announcements of the inauguration of the first Latin American office of the planned Bank of the South and the adhesion of new members countries have come as a direct challenge to the Northern based IFIs struggling to remain relevant to the region. An update and analysis of recent announcements about Bank of the South, focusing on the implications for the ongoing crises of relevance in Latin America confronting the IMF, World Bank and IDB, as well as the challenges for deeper South American integration.
Source: Bank Information Center
* Will a new road be taken to break free from the IMF?
According to most analysts it is praiseworthy for Ortega to set the goal of 'breaking free' from IMF recipes during his administration, if the aim, in this case, is to enhance the country’s possibilities in terms of wealth creation, which would imply, in turn, to reach huge internal consensus regarding the course to be taken by Nicaragua. President Daniel Ortega has not yet described the road that would be taken in order to make the dream of becoming independent of IMF ties come true. Adolfo Acevedo, Nicaraguan economist, believes that the analysis should take into account the deep identity crisis being faced by the IMF.
* Third World external debt development: The case of Latin America and the Caribbean
The external debt still remains a heavy burden on underdeveloped economies and its regional distribution has changed in recent years. Various factors have had an influence on the new trends that can be observed regarding the total external debt accumulated by regions, among which the following are included: the financial instability of emerging markets, the deteriorated socio-economic situation in Africa, and the appeal of regions such as Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia for foreign investment.
Author: Gladys Hernández
* Interview with Beverly Keene: WSF, external debt and financial institutions
With a view to strengthen the current debate on external debt and financial institutions from a Latin American perspective, we talked to Beverly Keene, of Jubilee South/Americas, who actively participated in the last World Social Forum. As pointed out by Beverly, "undoubtedly, the current Latin American context is outstandingly different from five years ago, on account of which social movements are called upon to act accordingly".
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
* As Wolfowitz feels pressure to resign, critics call for accountability, transparency and democratization of the IFIs
Source: World Bank President weblog
* World Unions call for accountability and democracy at World Bank and IMF
* European civil society backs Wolfowitz resignation calls and urges comprehensive reform of Bank governance
*** All Statements
-> Global civil society organizations demand Wolfowitz resignation and broader governance overhaul
Global sign-on letter demands not only Wolfowitz's resignation but fundamental reforms in the governance of the institution itself. Wolfowitz’s resignation is necessary but not sufficient to address the current scandal. The decision is in your hands.
-> Parliamentarians’ Declaration for shared responsibility in sovereign lending
This declararation recognises that democratically elected parliamentarians have a right and duty to scrutinise the actions of their governments as either lenders or borrowers. Parliamentarians who sign the declaration commit to support further research into the concept of illegitimate debt as well as initiate parliamentary audits of existing claims and debts.
*** All Campaigns
6. SPECIAL WEBSITES
-> Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)
The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. CEPR examines how IMF, World Bank and WTO policies have affected Latin America and looks at the economic factors behind political developments in the region.
*** IFIs Monitor is an active member of IFIwatchnet. See http://www.ifiwatchnet.org
*** NGOs directory
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IFIs Latin American Monitor welcomes suggestions of research reports, campaign actions, etc to announce on this list. Please send brief summaries of long texts, and links to where they are available on-line.
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IFIs Latin American Monitor