To conclude the seminar, four panelists—Peter Kenen, Christian Stals, Alexander Swoboda, and Alejandro Végh—sought to pull together the main practical suggestions that had emerged from the two days of discussions. Following their remarks and a final round of general discussion, Stanley Fischer summed up the proceedings.
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.
The seminar on the future of the SDR that was held in March 1996 arose out of a longstanding discourse on the role of the SDR in the modern world. As Robert Solomon recounts in Chapter 3, the SDR was created in 1969 as a means of satisfying the world’s growing demand for international reserve assets. After considerable effort to reach agreement on the criterion that should govern the allocation of SDRs, the framers of the enabling amendment of the Fund’s Articles of Agreement devised what appears to be a carefully balanced general rule:
The opening session of the seminar provided an opportunity to review both the original rationale for creating the SDR in the 1960s and the ways in which the world economy and the SDR have evolved since that time. Robert Solomon presented the main paper for that revieiw. Following his presentation, Max Corden, Adolfo Diz, and Rudolf Rhomberg each examined the implications of the ways in which the system and the asset had evolved.
The second session of the seminar examined the merits of the case for making new allocations of SDRs under the provisions in the present Articles of Agreement of the IMF. Midiael Mussa opened the session by setting out his views on this issue, drawing on his experience at the Fund over the past five years. Three outside experts—Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Horst Siebert, and John Williamson—joined IMF Executive Director j. de Beaufort Wijnholds in offering a range of additional perspectives and critiques of Mussa’s paper.