Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

"Policy Brief: Canada at the World Bank and IMF – Watching from the sidelines?" Halifax Initiative, July 2008

...from Fraser Reilly-King Coordinator of the Halifax Initiative Coalition

Currently, the majority of development impacts are skewed towards measuring profitability and economic costs and benefits, rather than poverty reduction, economic diversification, revenue transparency, improved social and environmental conditions or community support.

In 1944, the Bretton Woods Conference established the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). Every year at the end of March, the Minister of Finance tables a “Report on Operations under the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act”. As of 2008, these annual reports provide a comprehensive introduction to the institutions and Canada’s place within them, an overview of Canadian priorities and actions in 2007, and Canadian medium- term priorities looking forward.

[The brief addresses seven issues: 1)improved openness in selection of the IMF Managing Director and World Bank President; 2) improved democracy in governance at the IMF and World Bank, including changes to IMF Quota; 3) enhanced transparency especially regarding loan conditions for low-income countries; 4) most surprising, elimination of the IMF’s budget deficit and restoration of its finances to a sustainable footing; 5) a new strategic direction that emphasizes poverty reduction and clean energy; 6) the need for Canada to rethink its approach to aid and conditionality; and 7) promotion of an aggressive program of energy efficiency and new renewables within the Bank, and a phasing out of financial, policy and technical support for fossil fuels. Just 10 pages. -jlt]

Download the whole brief (pdf, 10pp) from here =>
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