Finance ministers and development experts to convene at UN

15 April 2005 –

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will attend a working dinner with a major committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) tomorrow and will open an all-day high-level conference Monday grouping the two institutions with multilateral trade and socio-economic bodies.

Mr. Annan is expected to tell representatives of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IFMC) of two Bretton Woods institutions in Washington, DC, that their development agenda fits into and has a better chance of being adopted as part of the broader agenda that he has put before UN Member States for their September summit, his spokesman said at the daily noon briefing in New York.

Monday's meeting at UN Headquarters will include the World Bank, the IMF, the 54-member UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and senior officials from the major international trade organizations, as well as national finance and development ministers and central bankers who will have attended the two institutions' 16-17 April spring meeting.

Mr. Annan is expected to repeat his appeal for rapid increases in official development assistance (ODA) so as to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) designed in 2000 to correct or reduce many socio-economic ills by 2015.

The daylong conference will review the areas covered by the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development - trade, aid, investment, debt, international financial systems and mobilization of developing country resources.

Other participants in the meeting will be the ECOSOC President, Ambassador Munir Akram of Pakistan, Word Bank/IMF Development Committee Chair Trevor Manuel of South Africa, who is also his country's finance minister, IMF Deputy Managing Director Augustin Carstens, representing the IFMC and the UN Conference on Trade and Development's (UNCTAD) board chair Mary Whelan.

Among the representatives of private sector and civil society organizations will be Dr. Jo Marie Griegraber, Chair of the New Rules for Global Finance Coalition, and Secretary-General Maria Cattui of the International Chamber of Commerce.

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