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20. sep 2002 - The joint Annual Meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group will be held in Washington on 28th and 29th September. The focal points are the sessions of the advisory boards of both Bretton Woods institutions, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and the Development Committee. Representatives from the 11 major industrialised countries (G-10) will meeti on 27th September to harmonise their positions. Prior to that a preparatory meeting of the Swiss constituency in the Bretton Woods institutions will be held in Neuchâtel on 24th and 25th September.
At Switzerland’s invitation, finance ministers, governors of the central banks and other representatives of the Swiss constituency will this year gather for a two day meeting in Neuchâtel. The meeting marks the tenth anniversary of the constituency, which has been headed by Switzerland since its membership of the Bretton Woods institutions. The group includes Azerbaijan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Poland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The broad format of the meeting provides a good opportunity for intensive dialogs and serves to strengthen the cohesion of the group. Privatisation, economic reforms and the role of international financial institutions are the subjects for discussion in a seminar. Individual countries, which are at different stages of their reform efforts, should have the opportunity to discuss and exchange experiences. The country delegations will be travelling on from Neuchâtel to the Annual Meeting in Washington.
In the IMFC, the finance ministers and the governors of the central banks will deliberate on the state of the world economy and discuss the enhancement of the IMF 's mechanisms for preventing and resolving financial crises. One of the main items on the agenda is furthering the discussion on - insolvency procedures for sovereigns One proposal to be discussed is the IMF 's blueprint for a sovereign debt restructuring mechanism. It would allow for institutionalised bankruptcy proceedings supervised by a dispute resolution forum. The G-10 conducted much of the groundwork for the other proposal, the introduction of "collective negotiation " clauses in sovereign debt contracts. Such clauses should simplify the decentralised renegotiation of debt contracts.
The global debt relief programme for poor countries, (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative HIPC), is the subject of deliberations by both the IMFC and the Development Committee. Ministers will be discussing how the sustainability of debt relief for HIPC countries can be guaranteed and how funding of the programme can be ensured. The general slowdown of world economic growth and falling commodity prices are currently making sustainability of debt relief for the poorest countries more difficult to achieve.
A further key topic for the Development Committee is the implementation of the consensus reached at the UN Conference in Monterrey (Mexico). The Monterrey consensus calls for heightened cooperation with developing countries with an end to achieving sustainable development. The developing countries are asked to act responsibly, in particular by making the appropriate adjustments to their own basic economic conditions. In order to achieve the goals set out in the Millennium Declaration, however, a huge increase in spending on development cooperation is needed, and access to markets in the industrialised countries must be improved.
The Swiss delegation consists of Kaspar Villiger, President of the Confederation (head of delegation) and Federal Councillor Pascal Couchepin together with Jean-Pierre Roth, Chairman of the Board of the Swiss National Bank. As always the Annual Meeting provides an opportunity to foster contacts with representatives from the IMF, the World Bank Group and other member countries.
Federal Department of Finance (FDF)
Federal Department of Economic Affairs (DEA)
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA)
Press and Information Service Further details:
Giorgio Dhima, Federal Finance Administration, Tel. 031 322 60 48
Patrick Belser, State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Tel. 031 325 05 77
Walter Hofer, SADC, Tel. 031 322 34 16
20 Sep 2002
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