NGOs urge nations to keep close watch on WB and IMF

By Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post, Batam, September 20, 2006.

Some 500 activists gathering in Batam grouped under the International Peoples Forum called Monday on all nations to hold international financial institutions (IFIs) such as the IMF and World Back fully accountable for the social impact they have on developing countries.

“We call on the governments, members of the World Bank and the IMF Board of Directors, to keep these institutions fully accountable for their impact on human rights, equity, and the sustainability of development,” Ravindranath of the Jubilee South said representing the forum.

“We find the World Bank and IMF responsible for policies and actions that lead to the intensification of poverty and deprivation, the undermining of national sovereignty and democratic governance, and the subversion of the right to development,” he added.

The forum contended that IMF and World Bank policy advice and loans have constricted the ability of developing countries to craft their own development paths and that trade liberalization was at times oversold as an antipoverty strategy which often resulted in unintended fiscal consequences and social costs.

“We stress the urgent need for 100 percent cancellation of multilateral debt, transparent and participatory external audits of IFIs lending and policies, prevention of the imposition of policy conditions that undermine economic sovereignty and exacerbate crisis in health and education, discontinuing the privatization of public services and ending IFI involvement in environmentally destructive projects,” Ravindranath said.

The world’s major financial leaders have long implicitly acknowledged the shortcomings of the two institutions. One example was the statement of Robert Rubin when he tenured as the U.S. Secretary of Treasury back in the late nineties, saying that governments had to modernize the architecture of international finance. (Read the rest of this article on The Jakarta Post).

Comments are closed.