The experience of the International Monetary Fund in relation to non-member states illustrates the misleading character of any principle, however formulated, which suggests that states cannot be affected, to their advantage or disadvantage, by a treaty to which they are not parties.
The Fund has taken cognizance of the fact that the signatory of a special exchange agreement would not be free to impose discriminatory exchange restrictions against other contracting parties, without having the benefit of any provision in the special exchange agreement comparable to Article XI, Section 2, of the Fund’s Articles. Therefore, a signatory would be unable to impose exchange restrictions against contracting parties that were members of the Fund, but the latter would be able to impose exchange restrictions against the signatory. Members would be able to do this under Article XI, Section 2, unless, of course, the Fund made the finding referred to in that provision. It is true that Article XV: 4 of GATT provides that contracting parties shall not, by exchange action, frustrate the intent of the provisions of GATT, but Article XV: 9(a) states that nothing in GATT precludes the use of exchange restrictions if they are in accordance with the Fund’s Articles.
As the central institution in the international monetary and payments system, the IMF must be in a position to assist any of its member countries having balance of payments difficulties. It must also be prepared, at all times, to guard against unexpected events that might threaten the stability of the system. The IMF needs adequate financial resources to carry out these responsibilities. This is particularly important now, given the fundamental political and economic changes that are taking place in the former Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and in many other parts of the world. This pamphlet takes a brief look at the functions of the IMF, why it needs more resources, and how these resources will be used.
One effect of the Articles on non-members results from the exercise of the Fund’s authority to enter into agreements with them. The major example of an international agreement of this kind is the agreement of June 11, 1964 between the Fund and Switzerland.44