IN THIS EDITION:
-> 1. Special coverages
-> 2. News
-> 3. Reports
-> 4. Statements
-> 5. Campaigns
-> 6. Special websites
1. SPECIAL COVERAGES
-> Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Annual Meetings - Guatemala, March 2007
The 48th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IDB took place in Guatemala City, Guatemala, March 16-20, 2007. This year, the hot issues were: the announcement of the IDB realignment; the review of its lending program; infrastructure and integration projects, and the debt cancelation of the 'poorest' Latin American countries. Civil society representatives participated actively in seminars and meetings with IDB staff members.
*** All events on Choike's website
-> Notes from the 2007 Meeting of the IDB Board of Governors
The last IDB Annual Meeting was held recently in Guatemala. One of the main topics was social inclusion – the focal point of a seminar in wich the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Rigoberta Menchú participated. The meeting was also marked by the official announcement of the debt cancellation for the continent’s five poorest countries. Regarding the activity of civil society representatives, those who were in Guatemala had the chance to attend a special meeting with the IDB Board members.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
-> Representatives of Peruvian organizations in Guatemala protest IDB investment policies
Among topics broached were Camisea, IIRSA, health problems in indigenous communities, and undue IDB support for corporations. Peruvian delegation includes Carlos Herrera Descalzi, former Peruvian minister and current vice-president of the Peru School of Engineers (CIP).
-> Annual Conference of the Parliamentary Network with IMF/WB representatives
The 7th PNoWB Annual Conference was held on March 15-17, 2007 in Cape Town, South Africa. The conference, hosted by the Government and Parliament of South Africa brought together 200 parliamentarians around the world with civil society organisations, multilateral and bilateral agencies as well as World Bank and IMF representatives. The fact that responsible finance and illegitimate debt are issues on the agenda of parliamentarians and social organisations causes concern in financial institutions.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor
* The decline (& fall?) of the IMF or, chronicle of an institutional death foretold
Once upon a time, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) seemed immune to criticism, regardless of the damage its neo-liberal policy impositions inflicted around the globe. That immunity was finally torn away by the East Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, when criticism of the IMF's interventions came from all sides. The Argentine crisis of 2001-02, where the IMF's culpability in creating the crisis was generally acknowledged, probably put the recuperation of the institution's reputation permanently out of reach.
Author: Soren Ambrose
Source: Focus on the Global South
* IDB now in on MDRI but once again the devil is in the detail
On 16 March 2007, the Inter-American Development Bank confirmed that it would write-off US$4.4bn in debt owed by the five Latin American HIPCs (Bolivia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras and Nicaragua). According to the IDB’s President Luis Alberto Moreno, this "historic" decision "will help these countries free up resources to invest in quality education, health and other social services their citizens need to overcome poverty". These are impressive words but once again, the devil is in the detail.
Author: Gail Hurley
* Southern Bank: A road towards a new financial architecture
The neo-liberal model shows clear signs of erosion in Latin America. This has been expressed in voter support for candidates who have been critical of neo-liberalism. Moreover, some governments need to keep not only a formal but also a real distance from the IMF, but does not imply that they are launching a process to revert neo-liberal policies. In this context, the creation of the Southern Bank should not be considered from a financial point of view but rather from a geopolitical and epistemological perspective, implying: the reformulation of development finance contents.
Author: Pablo Dávalos
* Spring Meetings: IMF and World Bank need to step up on labour rights and inequality, by ITUC
* Statement by the Assembly of Caribbean People (APC) and the Cry of the Excluded on the IDB announcement
* The IDB approves debt relief – for whom?, by Jubilee South/Americas
*** All Statements
-> 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
2007 World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings
The meetings will take place in Washington DC on April 14-15. Civil society events will take place both within and outside of the institution from April 11-17. As always, IFIwatchnet will collect event details and a list of civil society representatives planning on attending the meeting.
*** 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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