On March 23, a delegation of UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) ambassadors met with members of the IMF’s Executive Board, management, and senior staff to discuss the format and specific themes of a formal April 26 meeting that will also involve the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, and representatives from other agencies and civil society. The formal meeting, which will take place at UN headquarters in New York and is the seventh such annual gathering, will this year focus on bolstering implementation of the Monterrey Consensus—commitments made in 2001 for developing countries to improve macroeconomic and financial policies and for the international community to mobilize more international resources for the fight against poverty.
The informal preparatory session heard first from Finnish Ambassador Marjatta Rasi, President of ECOSOC, who explained that the theme of the April meeting—“Coherence, Coordination, and Cooperation in the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus”—took its inspiration from the UN General Assembly’s desire to ensure effective follow-up to commitments made in Monterrey, Mexico. The April meeting will focus on three specific issues: the impact of private investment and trade in development financing, the role of multilateral institutions in reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals, and debt sustainability.
The IMF participants confirmed that Deputy Managing Director Agustin Carstens and a broad representation of Executive Directors will attend the April 26 meeting. They also emphasized that cooperation between the IMF and ECOSOC—and the United Nations more broadly—should continue to be pragmatic and mutually supportive, with each institution focusing its energies on its own area of expertise and specific mandate. The coordination of postconflict efforts in Burundi and Guinea-Bissau—in which the United Nations took the lead in addressing political and security concerns, and the IMF and the World Bank contributed to broader efforts to restore economic stability and growth—was seen as an example of effective cooperation.
The ECOSOC President will produce a summary of the outcome of the April meeting; this will be posted on the ECOSOC website (http://www.un.org/esa/coordination/ ecosoc).