1. At the Executive Board discussion of quota and voice reform in July, which built upon two earlier informal seminars, Directors highlighted the need to make significant further progress in the coming months.2 This would enable the Executive Board to report concrete and substantial progress to the Board of Governors at the Annual Meetings. It was envisaged that the period leading up to the Annual Meetings would be used to begin to resolve the remaining areas of difference and focus on the main choices that need to be made. In that vein, staff and management were to consider how the views expressed and guidance provided by Directors so far could be built upon to identify more concretely the scope for specific proposals.
On July 5, the Executive Board had an informal discussion of reforms of quotas and voice as part of the process of formulating reform proposals for the Annual Meetings in Singapore. That discussion confirmed the importance attached by the membership to reaching agreement on a package of quota and voice reforms in Singapore for the Fund’s continued credibility and effectiveness. The discussion also revealed broad support for a reform package along the lines suggested in the staff paper. The support for quota and voice reform across a broad spectrum of the membership indicates that these reforms are not seen as a zero sum game, but rather as change that will strengthen the Fund and from which all members will benefit.
There is now widespread recognition that addressing quota and voice imbalances across the membership is essential for preserving the effectiveness of the Fund and its credibility as a cooperative institution. As noted in the Managing Director’s Report on Implementing the Medium-Term Strategy,2 members’ quotas have become increasingly out of line with countries’ economic weight in the global economy. In addition, the declining role of basic votes since the Fund was established has weakened the voice of smaller developing countries.
In its April 2009 Communiqué, the IMFC called for a prompt start to the Fourteenth General Review of Quotas so that it is completed by January 2011--some two years ahead of schedule. The IMFC noted that the review is expected to result in increases in the quota shares of dynamic economies, particularly in the share of emerging market and developing countries as a whole. The IMFC also looked forward to further work by the Executive Board on elements of the new quota formula that can be improved before the formula is used again, and noted that this work should start before the 2009 Annual Meetings.