IFIs Latin American Monitor - April, 2009


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The event to take place on 30 May in New York will bring together people from the South and the North, from the US and abroad, women and men, workers and unemployed on the eve of the UN Summit Conference on the Economic and Financial Crisis.

Conveners: Social Watch, Eurostep, LDC Watch, Institute for Policy Studies, Center of Concern, Jubilee USA Network, Jubilee South, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, Global-Local Links Project, Alliance for Responsible Trade, ESCR-Net, GCAP Feminist Task Force and others.

* URGE LEADERS TO ATTEND UN CRISIS SUMMIT - Encourage your Head of State to go to the UN Conference on financial crisis
On June 1-3, the President of the General Assembly (PGA) is convening the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development. The meeting will address the impact of the crisis on development as well as the ongoing international discussion on reforming and strengthening the international financial and economic system and architecture. But there is a problem. While many developing country governments are proposing to send their heads of state, many other developing and developed countries aren't. We need your help so that this meeting has the political weight it needs to challenge the status quo.
-> See more and sign on:


-> World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings - Washington D.C., April 2009
This year the meetings took place from April 25 to 26, at the WB and IMF headquarters in Washington D.C. The event consisted of a series of policy dialogue sessions, which brought together WB and IMF staff, civil society organisations representatives, and governments delegates.

*** All events


-> NEW IN-DEPTH REPORT: United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development
On 8 May 2009, the President of the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly, Miguel d’Escoto Brockman, presented the draft outcome document for the UN Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development (1-3 June 2009, New York).
->See this and more information on the coming event in:

-> The global financial crisis: implications for the South
The past few months have seen one of the most significant financial crises in history that started in the United States and then spread to Europe, Asia and the rest of the world. The financial system, its architecture and its institutions are being questioned and they need to be completely rethought.


->The World Bank rethinks its information disclosure policy
The World Bank presented a proposal for the revision of its information disclosure standards which includes both web-based and live consultations. Within this process, civil society organisations have expressed strong criticism of the implementation and content of said revision which invalidate the transparency purpose declared by the institution.
Source: IFIs Latin American Monitor

->The World Bank is redefining what is good for business. If you say so...
In an unexpected change of heart about what is good for development, the World Bank announced on April 28 changes in the methodology used for its report "Doing Business", the most influential publication of the institution, which ranks all countries of the world as more or less attractive to investors depending on how easy or difficult it is to establish, lead and close a business, or obtain credit. Several of the ten indicators that define the place of each country in the table of "Doing Business" will be changed in the 2010 report, to be published in September this year, announced the World Bank.
Author: Roberto Bissio
Source: Agenda Global - La Diaria

->Jubilee Foundation promotes external debt audit in Bolivia
The Jubilee Foundation and the Latin American Network on Debt, Development and Rights (Latindadd) are promoting the setting-up of a technical commission to launch an external debt audit in Bolivia, for the purpose of knowing the backgrounds and destination of resources that entered the country in recent decades and – with a view to the future – to contribute to the definition of responsible debt policies.
Source: Fundación Jubileo - Bolivia


* IMF conditionalities: A repeat of history?
The global financial crisis had led to a resurgence in lending by the IMF which has suffered a sharp decline in its lending in recent years as countries avoided the institution due largely to the harmful conditionalities attached to its loans. But the institution seemed to have failed to learn from its past mistakes in handling the previous financial crises in 1997-98 and continued to prescribe contractionary policies in countries which had turned to the institution for funds to either stimulate their economies or to avoid a serious downturn.
Source: Third World Network

* IMF voting shares: No plans for significant changes
This article examines voting shares of members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), including voting shares prior to changes agreed in 2006, the voting shares after the 2006 changes were implemented, and proposed reforms of the voting shares currently under consideration. It finds that there has been insignificant change in the voting shares, and that there is little reason to believe that significant reforms will be implemented in the near future. Instead, countries that have traditionally held a disproportionately large share of votes at the IMF, such as the U.S. and European countries, will continue to do so, while low - and middle-income countries can expect no significant increase in their representation at the Fund.
Authors: Mark Weisbrot and Jake Johnston
Source: CEPR

* The G20’s mistake: Boosting the IMF without reforming it
The G20 Summit in London on 2 April did not achieve what had been expected in terms of reforms to the global financial architecture, on regulation, or on coordinated macro-economic policy response. There was no move towards correcting the global payments imbalances. The summit was rescued from disaster, according to an article in The Economist, by the announcement of a US$1,100 billion package of measures to boost the sagging world economy.
Author: Martin Khor
Source: South Center

* IMF and the IDB: A history of limited choices and broken promises
This article explores the historically often unfriendly and adversarial relationship that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have held with Latin America in the past and their attempt to play a reinvigorated role in the region as a result of the current financial crisis. After last month’s G20 Summit during which an agreement was brokered that will increase the IMF’s capitalization from $250 billion to $750 billion, with a special credit line designed for emerging markets, it appears that prospects may exist for the IMF and the IDB to play an increasingly meaningful role in the region.
Source: COHA


* Highlights of Press Conference by the PGA on the upcoming UN Conference on the International Economic and Financial Crisis

* UN Expert urges countries to acknowledge shared responsability for debt, drawing lessons from Norway and Ecuador

* Ensuring development in the face of the financial crisis (pdf)

* UNCTAD calls for temporary debt servicing moratorium (and other calls)

*** All Statements

8. NGOs

* Rethinking Finance
Rethinking finance is a website of several international civil society organisations and individuals that put forward alternative ideas and analyses on the global financial crisis.

* Choike.org Blog
Choike is a portal dedicated to improving the visibility of the work done by NGOs and social movements from the South. Send your comments or reports to publish in the blog!

* IFIs Monitor is an active member of IFIwatchnet. See http://www.ifiwatchnet.org

*** NGOs directory


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