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.
The discussion so far has dealt with the obligations of the Articles and the extent to which they have been brought to bear on non-members. In this and some of the succeeding sections of this paper the subject will be the extent to which the benefits of the Articles have been accorded to or withheld from non-members.
Technical assistance can improve lives in a variety of ways. In the next few pages we take a look at examples of how the IMF has helped governments build institutional capacity in Africa; meet internationally recognized standards for collecting and publishing financial data; combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism; and strengthen taxation systems and financial sectors. We also discuss how the IMF helps countries after an emergency or conflict; and the role of the IMF Institute in training government officials.