Completion of Work of the Committee of Twenty
- International Monetary Fund
- Published Date:
- February 1996
After the ad hoc Committee on Reform of the International Monetary System and Related Issues (Committee of Twenty) had completed its work in June 1974 and had recognized that it would be some time before a reformed international monetary system could be finally agreed and fully implemented, the Boards of Governors of the Fund and the World Bank adopted a parallel composite resolution on October 2, 1974 at the Twenty-Ninth Annual Meetings, in Washington.
The following resolutions, which were part of the composite resolution, formally ended the Committee of Twenty as a special committee of the Board of Governors of the Fund (Resolution No. 29-7) and set out several other steps to be taken immediately so that an “evolutionary process of reform” could begin (Resolution No. 29-10).†
Composite Resolution on the Work of the Ad Hoc Committee on Reform of the International Monetary System and Related Issues and on a Program of Immediate Action
(October 2, 1974)
The Board of Governors having noted:
That the ad hoc Committee on Reform of the International Monetary System and Related Issues, which was established at the Board’s 1972 Annual Meeting to advise and report with respect to all aspects of reform of the international monetary system, has now concluded its work; and
That the Chairman of the ad hoc Committee has transmitted its final report (“Report to the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund by the Committee on Reform of the International Monetary System and Related Issues”) accompanied by an “Outline of Reform” (hereinafter referred to as the Outline), consisting of Part I (“The Reformed System”), which records the outcome of the Committee’s discussions and indicates the general direction in which the Commitee believes the system could evolve, and Part II (“Immediate Steps”), which sets out the steps that the Committee agrees should be taken immediately; and
That the Executive Directors have been studying various aspects of the international monetary system and in accordance with the Committee’s recommendations on immediate steps in the Report and Outline have adopted certain decisions;
Now, therefore, the Board of Governors hereby takes the following actions:
First Resolution (No. 29-7): Final Report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Reform of the International Monetary System and Related Issues
The Board of Governors hereby resolves as follows:
1. The Board of Governors notes the report of the ad hoc Committee on Reform of the International Monetary System and Related Issues.
2. The Board expresses its deep appreciation to the Committee and its Chairman, to the Deputies and their Chairman, and to the Bureau upon the conclusion of their work on international monetary reform for the valuable contribution that they have made both in indicating the general direction in which the international monetary system could evolve in the future and in proposing immediate steps and other measures on which members could collaborate in an evolutionary process of reform.
3. The Committee shall cease to exist on October 2, 1974.
Fourth Resolution (No. 29-10): Other Immediate Steps
The Board of Governors hereby resolves as follows:
1. Need for Immediate Steps
The Board of Governors notes the view of the Committee on Reform of the International Monetary System and Related Issues (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) that it will be some time before a reformed system can be finally agreed and fully implemented, and it endorses the Committee’s proposal that, in the interim period, the Fund and its members should pursue the general objectives set out in paragraph 1 of the Outline adopted by the Committee and should observe, so far as they are applicable, the principles contained in Part I of the Outline. The Board notes that in Part II of the Outline the Committee proposes that a number of steps should be taken immediately to begin an evolutionary process of reform and to help meet the current problems facing both developed and developing members. The Board of Governors endorses the proposals of the Committee and the Committee’s calls upon members to collabrate with the Fund and with each other to give effect to those proposals.
2. The Adjustment Process
The Board of Governors notes that the Committee has recognized that in the interim period, with the prospect of significant changes in the structure of balances of payments in the world, there is need for close international consultation and for surveillance of the adjustment process. The Board endorses the Committee’s recommendation that members should be guided in their adjustment action by the general principles set out in paragraph 4 of the Outline. The Board endorses the Committee’s call to members to cooperate with one another and with international institutions, during the current period of exceptional and widespread payments imbalances, to find orderly means to deal with these imbalances without adopting policies that would aggravate the problems of other members, and to promote equilibrating capital flows. In this connection, the Board of Governors welcomes Decision No. 4241-(74/67), adopted by the Executive Directors on June 13, 1974, to establish a facility in the Fund to assist members in meeting the initial impact of the increase in the cost of oil imports.
The Fund shall exercise surveillance of the adjustment process through the Council when established (and, for the time being, the Interim Committee on the International Monetary System) and the Executive Directors, on the lines of the procedures set out in paragraphs 5-10 of the Outline, and subject for the time being to the following provisos, namely that:
(a) the Fund will seek to gain further experience in the use of the objective indicators, including reserve indicators, on an experimental basis, as an aid in assessing the need for adjustment, but shall not use such indicators to establish any presumptive or automatic application of pressures;
(b) determination of what is a disproportionate movement in reserves shall be made in the light of the broad objectives of members for the development of their reserves over a period ahead, as discussed with the Fund; and
(c) the pressures that may be applied to members in large and persistent imbalance shall continue to be those at present available to the Fund.
3. Exchange Rates
The Board of Governors notes that the Committee has stressed that, during the interim period, exchange rates will continue to be a matter for international concern and consultation, and has attached particular importance to the avoidance of competitive depreciation or undervaluation. The Board endorses these views and notes with satisfaction that in accordance with the Committee’s recommendation the Executive Directors have taken Decision No.4232-(74/67), adopted June 13, 1974, on guidelines for the management of floating exchange rates during the present period of widespread floating.
The Board of Governors endorses the Committee’s recommendation that, during the interim period, countries should be guided by the principles set out in paragraphs 14-17 of the Outline in relation to controls and to cooperative action to limit disequilibrating capital flows. The Board endorses the Committee’s view that particular importance must be attached to avoiding the escalation of restrictions on trade and payments for balance of payments purposes during the interim period. The Board endorses the invitation to members to subscribe on a voluntary basis to the Declaration concerning trade and other current account measures for balance of payments purposes attached to the Committee’s final communiqué, and requests members to consider subscribing to the Declaration if they have not already done so. The Board notes with satisfaction that the Executive Directors are developing the necessary procedures in connection with the Declaration, and are making arrangements for continuing close cooperation with the Contracting Parties to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
5. Global Liquidity
The Board of Governors endorses the Committee’s call to members to cooperate with the Fund during the interim period in seeking to promote the principle of better management in global liquidity as set out in paragraph 2(d) of the Outline. In accordance with the Committee’s recommendation, the Fund shall assess global reserves and take decisions on the allocation and cancellation of special drawing rights consistently with paragraph 25 of the Outline. The Fund shall periodically review the aggregate volume of official currency holdings in accordance with paragraph 19 of the Outline and, if they are judged to show an excessive increase, the Fund shall consider with the members concerned what steps might be taken to secure an orderly reduction.
In accordance with the Committee’s recommendation, the Fund shall give consideration to substitution arrangements.
In accordance with the Committee’s recommendation, the Fund shall give further study to arrangements for gold in the light of the agreed objectives of reform.
6. Valuation of the Special Drawing Right
The Board of Governors notes with satisfaction that, following the Committee’s recommendation concerning the interim valuation and interest rate of the special drawing right, the Executive Directors have taken the following decisions on these questions: No. 4233-(74/67) S, adopted June 13, 1974; No. 4234-(74/67) S, adopted June 13, 1974; No. 4236-(74/67) S, adopted June 13,1974; No. 4257-(74/76), adopted June 28, 1974; and No. 4261-(74/78) S, adopted July 1, 1974. These decisions provide for an interim valuation of the special drawing right without prejudice to the method of valuation to be adopted in a reformed system.
7. The Special Interests of Developing Countries
The Committee has recognized the serious difficulties that are facing many developing members, and has agreed that their needs for financial resources will be greatly increased. It has urged all members with available resources to make every effort to supply these needs on appropriate terms. To this end, the Committee has called upon members with available resources and upon development finance institutions to make arrangements to increase the flow of concessionary funds, and to give consideration to various measures including the redistribution of aid effort in favor of members in greatest need, interest subsidies, and short-term debt relief on official loans in the special circumstances of members without access to financial markets. The Board of Governors notes with satisfaction that, following the Committee’s recommendation, the Executive Directors have taken Decision No. 4377-(74/114), adopted September 13, 1974, to establish a new facility in the Fund under which developing members in particular are likely to receive balance of payments finance for longer periods and in amounts larger in relation to quota than has been the practice under existing tranche policies. The Board notes that the Committee is not unanimous on the question of establishing a link between development assistance and the allocation of special drawing rights and invites the Interim Committee established by the Second Resolution to consider the possibility and modalities of establishing such a link simultaneously with the preparation by the Executive Directors of draft amendments of the Articles of Agreement, which it is envisaged would be presented for the approval of the Board by February 1975.
8. General Review of Quotas
The Board of Governors endorses the Committee’s request to the Executive Directors to complete, as soon as possible, their work on the current general review of quotas, and in doing so to bear in mind the general purposes of the reform.
9. Amendments to the Articles of Agreement
The Board of Governors notes that certain of the immediate steps recommended in Part II of the Outline require amendment of the Articles of Agreement, and that, following the Committee’s recommendation in paragraph 41 of the Outline, the Executive Directors have begun their consideration of draft amendments of the Articles of Agreement to give effect to this Part of the Outline or as otherwise desired.
The Board requests the Executive Directors to transmit any draft amendments that they prepare pursuant to paragraph 41 of the Outline to the Interim Committee for consideration in accordance with paragraph 3(ii) of the Second Resolution and, if agreed, for presentation to the Board of Governors for its approval.
The resolutions establishing the Interim Committee (No. 29-8) and the Development Committee (No. 29-9) are reproduced below, pp. 213-15 and 575-78, respectively.