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International Monetary Fund


The Fund can decide whether or not to admit countries to membership. In considering applications, the Fund’s practice is to satisfy itself that the country is a state that conducts all of its international relations and that the obligations of the Articles will be performed. Membership in the Fund had grown to 103 states by the beginning of 1966. Among the non-members are the U.S.S.R. and countries of Eastern Europe, Switzerland, and certain small territories such as Liechtenstein, but this list is not complete. The Eastern European countries include two that are former members of the Fund: Czechoslovakia and Poland. Cuba and Indonesia are also ex-members.

International Monetary Fund


Article IX, Section 1, provides that to enable the Fund to fulfill its functions the status, privileges and immunities set forth in Article IX “shall be accorded to the Fund in the territories of each member.” Section 2 provides that the Fund “shall possess full juridical personality” and, in particular, the capacity to contract, acquire, and dispose of property, and institute legal proceedings. Notwithstanding the reference to the territories of members, it has never been doubted that the Fund has juridical personality and the capacity that flows from it in relations with non-members. Indeed, there is explicit evidence in the Articles that the reference to the territories of members in Article IX, Section 1, does not circumscribe the personality and capacity of the Fund. Under Article X, the Fund may make arrangements with other international organizations, and it has already been seen that under Article VII, Section 2, the Fund may borrow from sources “either within or outside the territories” of a member. Even these express provisions, however, do not exhaust the personality and capacity of the Fund. It is established in international law now that an international organization has an objective personality which goes beyond the express provisions of its charter. In its Advisory Opinion of April 11, 1949 (Reparation for Injuries Suffered in the Service of the United Nations),54 the International Court of Justice dealt, inter alia, with the question whether the United Nations had the capacity to bring international claims against a non-member state for injuries suffered by agents of the United Nations in the performance of their duties in circumstances involving the responsibility of the state for those injuries. The Charter of the United Nations is silent on this subject, and it contains language similar to Article IX, Section 1, of the Fund’s Articles.55 The Court declared that “fifty States, representing the vast majority of the members of the international community, had the power, in conformity with international law, to bring into being an entity possessing objective international personality, and not merely personality recognized by them alone, together with capacity to bring international claims.” 56 The reference to member territory in Article IX, Section 1, must be taken to deal with the status of the Fund under the municipal law of members and not with the position under international law.57

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

A far-reaching commitment to provide increased debt relief to the poorest developing countries was endorsed by the governors of the World Bank and the IMF at their fifty-fourth Annual Meetings, held in Washington, D.C. from September 28 to September 30. The governors also welcomed the progress many countries have made in recovering from the financial crises that had affected their economies in 1997-98 and early 1999, even though in a number of cases deep problems still remain.