Monday, 24 November 2008

IMF head should not evade UN

While initially scheduled to attend the Doha Financing for Development Review in Doha, the IMF Managing Director Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn has hinted he is no longer planning to attend. This is very unfortunate and difficult to explain, especially given the extraordinary influence that has been given to the IMF in the drafting process (in fact, the IMF is on record making suggestions on the same footing with member states, even though only member states are supposed to formally make drafting suggestions and even though its intervention, with such representation regime, means an unfair advantage for some large developed countries in the negotiation). By withdrawing representation at the highest level, the gesture would send a political signal that seeks to undermine the strength of the UN process as it enters into critical matters of reform of international finance and at a very critical juncture in the negotiations addressing such issues at this moment in New York. In an open letter NGOs worldwide are urging Strauss-Kahn to attend.

The letter:

Dear Mr. Strauss-Kahn,
We, the undersigned, are writing to urge you to attend the Doha Review Conference on Financing for Development.
On November 29, governments of the world will gather in Doha, Qatar, to reassert their 2002 Monterrey Consensus commitments to “eradicate poverty, achieve sustained economic growth and promote sustainable development as we advance to a fully inclusive and equitable global economic system,” and evaluate progress.
The Monterrey process was unique in that it represented a new and fresh type of multilateralism, one that sought to build bridges across governments, global institutions with different economic responsibilities, such as the one you head, development responsibilities, civil society and the private sector. Its multi-stakeholder nature generated the open, fresh approach needed for facing the challenges of global policy-making in a changed—and changing-- world. More importantly, in the collective agreement to build those bridges at the global level it also paved the ground for building those bridges at the domestic levels of governments.
In this sense, the Monterrey Consensus represented not a static, one-off event, but a dynamic one. It established an innovative process for dialogue: dynamic enough to allow for the adjustments that any learning process brings, but solid enough to ensure the continuity of a global partnership.
Though unforeseen at that time, the Doha Review Conference will take place at a time when those principles and commitments are more relevant than ever. A global financial crisis, the largest anyone alive has seen, is threatening to undo progress in poverty reduction and achievement of MDGs of several decades. The Conference also takes place amidst global crisis in food, energy and climate. The Monterrey follow-up offers the best hope of harvesting the broad-based knowledge, ownership, and political support that a response to these exceptional times call for. But it cannot work without all the partners at the table.
It is, therefore, with the utmost concern that we write to you to urge you to attend the Doha Financing for Development Review. We understand you are seriously considering not to attend this conference, even though you had committed at a very early stage. We believe were you to delegate this responsibility, it would send the wrong signal about the seriousness with which the IMF takes the challenges that we face, and how it perceives its role as a partner in solidarity with the international community of nations and organizations. It would certainly undermine its claims to leadership in global financial crisis response efforts.

To sign click >>> here.

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