Abstract

This paper deals with one aspect of the drafting of the amendment, the choice of language, and more particularly the two expressions—special drawing rights and a supplement to existing reserve assets. It shows the contribution that language can make, if not to the reconciliation of opposing views, then at least to their accommodation. The paper highlights that the effort expended in the search for a suitable terminology was only part of the much larger effort required to reach agreement, but was considerable. The choice of terminology enabled the proponents of divergent views to insist that their opinions had prevailed.

International Standard Serial Number: ISSN 0538-8759

Reprinted September 1985

Contents

  • References to Articles of Agreement and Decisions of the Executive Directors

  • Prefatory Note

  • Introduction

  • “Special Drawing Rights”

  • “Supplement to Existing Reserve Assets”

    • (a) The statement that special drawing rights are a supplement to reserve assets is not equivalent to the statement that special drawing rights themselves are reserve assets

    • (b) Special drawing rights have the characteristics that enable them to function as a supplement to existing reserve assets

    • (c) Special drawing rights are a supplement to existing reserve assets because they can make up for any deficiency in the global stock of existing reserve assets

    • (d) Special drawing rights are a supplement to as distinguished from a substitute for existing reserve assets

References to Articles of Agreement and Decisions of The Executive Directors

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Prefatory Note

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, who is the General Counsel and Director of the Legal Department of the International Monetary Fund, and not necessarily those of the Fund.

The Role of Language