The Annual Report to the Board of Governors reviews the IMF’s activities and policies during any given year. There are five chapters: (1) Overview, (2) Developments in the Global Economy and Financial Markets, (3) Policies to Secure Sustained and Balanced Global Growth, (4) Reforming and Strengthening the IMF to Better Support Member Countries, and (5) Finances, Organization, and Accountability. The full financial statements for the year are published separately and are also available, along with appendixes and other supplementary materials.
One of the core responsibilities of the International Monetary Fund is to maintain a dialogue with its member countries on the national and international consequences of their economic and financial policies. This process of monitoring and consultation, referred to as surveillance, is mandated under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement and lies at the heart of the Fund’s efforts to prevent crises.
The February 1, 1988 draft of Article 4A (hereinafter referred to as 4A)1 of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) represents a fairly refined product of the drafting effort. It has been preceded by some half-dozen drafts and reflects a growing consensus that began with a December 1985 meeting of those interested in the subject.
The growing integration of the world economy in recent decades has brought substantial benefits to the IMF’s member countries. But this economic interdependence has also created new challenges, as demonstrated by the financial crises of the 1980s and 1990s. The IMF has responded to these challenges, in part, by strengthening its framework for, and enhancing the content of, surveillance—its foremost means of helping countries avert crises. Surveillance allows the Fund, working with its member countries, to identify economic and financial policy strengths and weaknesses and vulnerabilities that could lead to crises and to formulate policy actions that can safeguard stability. And, given the potential for national crises to spill over to other countries in today’s global economy, surveillance is a means for the Fund to fulfill its mandate of promoting international economic and financial stability.
It is a great pleasure for me to be able to speak to you about the legal questions arising out of the development of electronic funds transfer and, in particular, to tell you some about the work being carried out in this field by UNCITRAL, the acronym for the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law. The timing of this seminar could not have been more appropriate from our point of view, because in two months a working group of UNCITRAL will meet to examine a first draft of Model Rules for Electronic Funds Transfers that has been prepared by our secretariat. I must emphasize that this draft is the product of the secretariat; it has not as yet had any review by any committee or other intergovernmental body of UNCITRAL.* Nevertheless, its very existence and the fact that the process of considering it will begin in July are indications of the importance the subject has taken on and the response of UNCITRAL to some of the problems that are raised by this new phenomenon.
In 1968, at its first session, the United National Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) decided to make one of its priority projects the harmonization and unification of the law of international payments and, in particular, the law of negotiable instruments. In 1987, UNCITRAL formally adopted a final draft of its proposed Convention on International Bills of Exchange and International Promissory Notes* (hereinafter referred to as the “Convention”).1
Providing financial support under adequate safeguards to member countries with balance of payments difficulties is one of the IMF’s main responsibilities. In a time of increasing and volatile capital flows, the Fund continues to seek better ways of bolstering members’ efforts to adjust to adverse circumstances, restore a viable balance of payments, implement reforms, and strengthen growth.
The IMF’s goal in low-income countries is to help them achieve deep and lasting poverty reduction through policies that promote growth, generate employment, and target assistance to the poor. This aim is consistent with the IMF’s mandate to “contribute … to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income and to the development of the productive resources of all members as primary objectives of economic policy.”1 The Fund pursues this goal in close collaboration with other development partners—particularly the World Bank. In doing so, the IMF focuses on its core areas of responsibility and expertise, namely, helping member countries achieve stable macroeconomic conditions by providing them with policy advice supported by financial and technical assistance.