Appendix C: Relations with United Nations

International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
September 1946
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There is given below the text of a letter dated March 12, 1946, from the President of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations to the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund, which led to discussions and correspondence between the two organizations looking toward a formal agreement. There is also given the text of the letter of September 10 from the Managing Director to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, which states the Fund's views on this matter.

March 12, 1946.

Fred M. Vinson, Esq.,

President, Board of Governors, International Monetary Fund, General Oglethorpe Hotel, Savannah, Ga.

Dear Sir: As you are aware, the Charter of the United Nations provides that intergovernmental organizations may be brought into relationship with the General Assembly of the United Nations through the Economic and Social Council. The Council at its meeting in February appointed a committee called the Negotiating Committee to enter into negotiations with certain intergovernmental organizations, and prepared an agreement for submission to the General Assembly at its next session in September.

Among the organizations which the Economic and Social Council desires to establish relationship with, are the International Monetary Fund and the Bank. The Secretary General of the United Nations will shortly be sending you a communication indicating the points which the Negotiating Committee of the Economic Council would like to discuss with the authorities of the Fund and Bank.

I am anxious that these negotiations should take place at the next session of the Economic and Social Council, which will be held in New York from the 25th of May to probably the 20th of June. It is highly desirable that the negotiations should be completed during that period, as the Council will then be in a position to report to the September session of the General Assembly when the agreement may be adopted. Otherwise, the draft agreement will have to be held over till the second session of the Assembly in September of the following year, 1947. I would, therefore, request you as Chairman and your Board to consider the desirability of authorizing an individual or a committee to meet the Negotiating Committee and discuss with them the terms of an agreement on the nature of the relationship between your organization and the General Assembly. I would also like to have an indication of the time when your Committee can meet the Negotiating Committee so that I can arrange that the Committee is convened for that date.

I shall be thankful for a reply at your convenience.

Yours sincerely,

(S) A. Ramaswami Mudaliar,

President, Economic and Social Council.

September 10, 1946.

Dear Mr. Lie: In the course of the past few months representatives of the International Monetary Fund have had an opportunity of exploring with the Assistant Secretary General in charge of the Economic Department and his colleagues certain of the problems involved in the relationship between the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund. These exchanges of views have been very useful in clarifying the issues involved and they have revealed a wide measure of agreement on the practical methods by which this relationship can be strengthened.

In addition to these discussions the Fund has had the further advantage of frequent participation in activities of the United Nations. We were represented by an observer at the meeting of the Economic and Social Council in New York last June, and propose to be similarly represented at the next meeting of the Council. We were pleased to have an observer from the Economic and Social Council present at the inaugural meeting of the Board of Governors of the Fund last May, and hope that the United Nations will be similarly represented at the first annual meeting of Governors to be held in Washington later this month.

Moreover, in various specific fields a large measure of practical cooperation has already been established between the Fund and the United Nations. Representatives of the Fund attended the United Nations Conference with Specialized Agencies on Personnel Matters last month, and have also on numerous occasions conferred separately with officials of the United Nations on these problems. Informal discussions have already taken place regarding statistical information and methods of dealing with public information.

The Fund is desirous of continuing close cooperation with the United Nations and will take all practical steps, consistent with the Fund Agreement by which its activities are governed, to broaden and intensify the working relationships already established.

The Fund recognizes that the Economic and Social Council is responsible under the authority of the General Assembly for the discharge of the functions set forth in Article IX of the Charter, and that it has for this purpose the powers set forth in Article X of the Charter. For its part the International Monetary Fund is a specialized agency with wide international responsibilities as defined in its basic instrument, and is responsible to its appropriate authorities for the discharge of the functions set forth in that instrument.

The governments which have signed the United Nations charter and the Articles of Agreement of the International Monetary Fund have clearly expressed their intention that whilst the authority and full responsibility of each of the respective organizations for the discharge of its functions under its basic instrument should be maintained and safeguarded, the organizations should consider it their duty to combine their efforts for the attainment of the common aims of the United Nations and for establishing the broad lines of concerted policies and actions.

The International Monetary Fund is fully prepared to collaborate with the United Nations along these lines. We have given careful thought to the question whether this collaboration can best be furthered by the negotiation of a legal instrument such as the Economic and Social Council has negotiated with certain other specialized agencies. As the result of these deliberations we have reached the conclusion that the precise nature of the collaboration to be established and the modalities which should govern it can only be determined in the light of practical experience and that it would therefore be premature to attempt to crystallize these relationships into the form of a legal contract at the present time. In reaching this conclusion we have had in mind the fact that the Fund is at the very beginning of its work and that the precise character of its working relationships with the United Nations is necessarily unknown. Moreover, in view of the fact that membership in the Fund is so largely co-terminous with membership in the United Nations we feel that there is little likelihood of insuperable conflicts of interest arising which can only be settled by reference to a legal contract.

As I have indicated above, the Fund wishes to strengthen in every practical way the effective working relationships with the United Nations. Steps have already been taken to arrange for reciprocal representation at certain meetings and it is our hope that these steps will be continued. The Fund believes that detailed discussions should take place regarding the avoidance of duplication in the collection and analysis of statistical information and is prepared to accept responsibility for the statistics within its special sphere while recognizing the United Nations as the central agency for the collection and analysis of statistics serving the general purposes of international organizations. The Fund is prepared to continue the consultations which have already been negotiated with the United Nations concerning the recruitment and employment of staff including conditions of service, salary scales and allowances, staff regulations and rules, etc., with a view to securing as much uniformity in these matters as is practical. In general the Fund is prepared to collaborate with the United Nations to achieve the common purposes of the two organizations through such consultations and arrangements as seem necessary from time to time to the appropriate authorities of the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.

If, in the course of time, it appears desirable to the appropriate authorities of the two institutions to place their relationship on a more formal and legalistic basis, the Fund will, of course, be prepared to give renewed consideration to this question. For the reasons indicated, however, it would appear to us that for the time being a more expedient course is to concentrate on the working relationships and not attempt to negotiate a legal contract.

Yours very truly,

Camille Gutt,

Managing Director.

Mr. Trygve Lie,

Secretary General, United Nations, Lake Success, N. Y.

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