Chapter

Concluding Remarks

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
Published Date:
November 1991
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Statement by the Temporary Alternate Governor of the Fund for Morocco1Abdelatif Loudyi

On behalf of the Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Morocco and Governor of the Bank, I have the honor to accept the chairmanship of the Forty-Seventh Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group for the coming year, especially at this crucial moment in the history of our Bretton Woods institutions.

Over the past few days, we have reflected upon the formidable challenges and exciting opportunities facing our institutions. I am confident that the membership will give the Fund and the Bank its full support as they seek to mobilize the resources required to meet the financing requirements in a period of profound change and exceptional demand for global resources; as they continue to respond to the pressing needs of developing countries; as they assist the countries of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in their daunting task of transforming their economies and integrating them into the global economy; and as they help member countries to devise, and coordinate, policies to strengthen the world economy, achieve adequate growth, alleviate poverty, and protect the environment. I am hopeful, and optimistic, that next year we will look back with satisfaction on the progress we have achieved in this period of profound challenge and change.

The Minister of Finance of the Kingdom of Morocco shall endeavor to carry out the duties of the Chairman with the same dignity, graciousness, and efficiency that have characterized our Meetings under the chairmanship of Mr. Pablo Better, Governor for Ecuador. We look forward to working with Mr. Camdessus and Mr. Preston, the Executive Directors, and the staff of both institutions in the coming year, and to welcoming all of you at the 1992 Annual Meetings in Washington.

Statement by the Chairman of the Executive Board and Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund—M. Camdessus

The Governors have given us much encouragement and food for thought, both in their addresses to the Plenary and in our bilateral discussions. Their suggestions will be very much with us, as we enter an era that is unanimously recognized as a time of opportunity.

These have been, in my view, a most productive few days. I have been struck by the virtually unanimous consensus among the membership. There is a sense of common objectives, a common strategy to achieve those objectives, and a shared responsibility to tackle global problems through cooperative means. In many respects I had the impression, listening to your speeches, that we were back to the vision and commitment of the original Bretton Woods Conference. And not only because the Soviet Union and its republics are with us—though that is surely an historic event.

The spread of political democracy was welcomed by many Governors, and with that the intensified search, in most countries, for the economic equivalent of political democracy. People are seeking a larger say in the decisions that mark their lives, and these include the decisions that affect the economy. They are demanding more accountable and open government; and they are emphasizing the need for a better quality of economic policies. There is everywhere an insistence that governments pursue growth-oriented strategies that are both realistic and ambitious. This means that growth has to be sustainable. But that is not enough by itself. You are telling us that people also expect that the strategies and policies to achieve this growth should reflect key social priorities—in particular protection of the poor and of our fragile environment. For some years we have aimed at adjustment with a human face. Now we also have to aim at growth with a human face. To quote the thoughtful words of the Prime Minister of Thailand at our opening ceremony, “we have to meet the needs and aspirations of people to create a cleaner and gentler world, where our children can live, grow, and prosper.” Therefore it is not only economic efficiency that has to be achieved—essential though that is—but also equity and justice. These are major elements of high-quality growth.

This truly presents a challenge to policymakers in every country. It will require inspired and courageous leadership. It also presents a challenge to our system of international cooperation. Governors have endorsed most forcibly how essential it will be to complete the Uruguay Round successfully, and soon. They agree that we must strengthen further the Bretton Woods institutions so that they can effectively fulfill their expanded mandates in this new, and hopefully better, world.

I welcome in particular the Governors’ strong endorsement of the Fund’s intensified efforts to contribute to the solution of new global challenges—the reform process in Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R., the reconstruction of countries affected adversely by the Middle East crisis. But these additional responsibilities must not in any way limit the Fund’s technical and financial assistance to other members; and I was delighted, in this context, to find very broad support for extending enhanced structural adjustment facility eligibility to 11 additional poor countries.

I welcome the widespread support for the IMF’s efforts to help solve the global savings problem, in particular by doing all we can to help countries to identify areas of unproductive or wasteful spending. This is, of course, just an extension and intensification of our traditional work to help countries improve their macroeconomic policies. This is intimately linked, for example, to our commitment to open trade, as we press the industrial countries, especially, to remove their agricultural and industrial subsidies. As regards military spending, I was impressed by the broad support for our aim to study more carefully the problem. An immediate priority must be to collect full and accurate information, and analyze the economic implications. I understand the hesitations of some. They should be assured that the Fund does not intend to interfere with their sovereign decisions when dealing with their national security. But the importance of these expenditures is such that their economic implications are a proper subject for our attention.

Certainly the IMF will have a full agenda in the years to come. Fortunately we have, in our dedicated staff, the types of expertise that will be needed. And when the quota increase comes into effect, we will have the financial resources needed to fulfill our mandate in the immediate period ahead. I therefore remind you of the urgency of the quota increase, and the Third Amendment without which the quota increase cannot come into effect. Those who are hesitating about the Third Amendment should recall how the Fund has worked with great care, caution, and patience, to help the countries in arrears to overcome their difficulties.

Governors, for me personally it has also been a great Annual Meeting. I appreciate your advice and support. I welcome your endorsement of proposals to strengthen the Fund and make its contributions more useful to the membership. As many of you know, I carry with me always a copy of Article I of the Articles of Agreement, which state cogently the basic functions and objectives of the IMF. You may be assured that, as we tackle the new challenges vigorously, we shall not forget the Fund’s continuing tasks and extensive existing responsibilities—to help the poorest in Africa and elsewhere, to persevere with and strengthen our role in the collaborative debt strategy, and to make more effective our contribution to better policies and more effective coordination in the industrial countries through IMF surveillance. I truly believe that it is the Fund’s ability to adapt to changing circumstances, but to do so in a way that does not deflect us from our basic purposes, that makes the Fund useful to the membership.

As I enter my second term as Managing Director, I dedicate myself, today, to serving you and your countries with renewed vigor and enthusiasm.

I thank the Government of Thailand for its kind hospitality, which has given us such an inspiring impression of this beautiful country and its charming people. And I thank the Governors for their support, and you, Mr. Better, for your courteous chairmanship. I hail my friend the Governor for Morocco who will chair next year’s meeting. And I join Lewis T. Preston in saluting my old friend Moeen Qureshi, who has devoted his career to the cause of international cooperation, as an outstanding leader in the World Bank.

Statement by the Chairman of the Boards of Governors and Governor of the Bank and the Fund for Ecuador—Pablo Better

It is now my duty as Chairman of the Boards of Governors to bring to a close these Forty-Sixth Annual Meetings of the Bank and the Fund. It has been a privilege for my country and for me, as Minister of Finance of Ecuador, to chair these meetings which, I am sure, constitute a turning point for the world’s economy. I would like to thank my fellow Governors for their cooperation in making the chairmanship of these meetings such a smooth and effortless task.

I welcome the admission during the course of these meetings of the Republic of Albania as the newest member of the Fund and the World Bank Group. It was a pleasure to have Mongolia participate in the meetings for the first time. And the signing of the Special Association between the U.S.S.R. and the Fund is a welcome step toward that country’s full membership in the Bretton Woods institutions. For the first time, a representative of the U.S.S.R. addressed the Joint Annual Meetings.

We are now on the threshold of universal membership in our two institutions. While this bodes well for the future of the world economy—for cooperation is to the advantage of all—it also means that we will have to add new responsibilities to old.

There appears to be a consensus among our members that the priority objectives for economic policies in the 1990s are sustainable growth, the reduction of poverty, the generation of savings to finance higher and more efficient investment, and protection of the environment. More importantly, we are leaving with a clear mandate to translate these lofty objectives into concrete programs of action that will benefit both the poor and the more advantaged of our world.

To be successful in these endeavors, we must make significant progress in a number of critical areas. First, more developed and less developed countries alike must pursue sound economic policies. Second, they must ensure that sufficient resources are available to finance growth and development. And third, they must strive to strengthen their human resources.

Over the past few days, I have heard Governors underscore the potential benefit for the entire international community of the remarkable, albeit difficult, transformation of the economies of Eastern Europe and the U.S.S.R. They made it clear that the global community must provide adequate support for strong adjustment efforts by these countries without, however, diverting resources from other developing countries.

I have heard Governors agree on the need for additional debt relief for the poorest, most-indebted countries on a case-by-case basis, going well beyond the relief already granted under the Toronto terms. For the middle-income countries, Governors welcomed the recent steps taken by several major debtors to regularize their relations with commercial banks.

I have heard Governors call on nations to reduce military expenditure and redirect those resources toward productive uses, including development.

And I have heard Governors stress the urgency of a successful resolution to the Uruguay Round, pointing out that without international trade liberalization, domestic reforms could be largely ineffective.

Governors, recognizing that the World Bank Group must have adequate resources to carry out its roles in the pursuit of development priorities, urged early subscription of the agreed $1 billion IFC capital increase. They recommended that as negotiations begin for the Tenth Replenishment of IDA, donors give serious consideration to increasing their contributions in real terms. Governors also noted that many Fund members have already consented to the Fund quota increase and the Third Amendment of the Articles of Agreement. They urged those countries that have not yet done so to act before the end of 1991, so that the Fund, too, will have sufficient resources to meet its responsibilities.

These are truly historical times—for the Bretton Woods institutions, for the international community, and for the peoples of the world. The IMF and the World Bank, each within its own field, take up a new role. They have become truly global institutions and, as such, all their missions strengthened both in scope and in depth.

These Annual Meetings have also done away with the myth of the “just technical” and “nonpolitical” work of the Bretton Woods institutions. In fact, there has been a recognition that democracy is as much an economic and social process as it is political. I congratulate the Bank and the Fund which, under the experienced and able leadership of Lewis T. Preston and Michel Camdessus, respectively, face the great task of supporting, perhaps even leading, the initiatives of the peoples of the world in the road to economic growth, social welfare, and the deepening of democracy.

In closing, I would like to reiterate my deep gratitude to His Majesty, the King, and to the Government and people of Thailand for their gracious hospitality. A large part of the success of these meetings can be attributed to the extraordinary organizational and logistical support provided by the Thai National Committee. I want to thank the Government and people of Thailand in particular for the use of this most magnificent conference center which has been put at our disposal for the 1991 Annual Meetings.

Finally, to my successor as Chairman of the Boards of Governors, the Governor for Morocco, I extend my best wishes for a successful year.

Delivered at the Closing Session, October 17, 1991.

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