By Omodele Adigun with Agency report
After 73 years of their existence, both the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank are ripe enough for reform to make them responsive to the needs of developing countries and reflect the realities of the 21st century.
According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who slammed the Bretton Wood Institutions for its rigid structure at the 41st Ministerial Meeting of the Group of 77 plus China (G77+China) on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, there is a need for a reform of their governance structure to enable them take advantage of the local knowledge that developing countries can bring to the work of the institutions. The World Bank and IMF were established at a meeting of 43 countries in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA in 1944.
Onyeama commended the G77, a coalition of developing nations at the UN that promotes its members’ collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the UN, for its role at shaping global discourse on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a collective and robust engagement, in contrast to the disposition of the World Bank and IMF, seen as wielding tremendous power and influence, but exclude the voices of developing countries, which are worst affected by financial and trade policies.
He stated: “Equally important in the international development strategy is the need for a reform of the governance structure of the Bretton Wood Institutions. Not only should they be made more transparent, consultative and inclusive, but also they should be more responsive and appreciative of the peculiar needs of developing countries.
“In consonance with the principle of ownership, the greater infusion of developing countries in the governance structure of Bretton Wood Institutions would undoubtedly allow them to take advantage of the local knowledge that developing countries can bring to the work of the institutions,” he said.
Onyeama said the group, to which all theAfrican countries are members, is a formidable group within the international system.“We echo one another in our conception,aspirations and desire for a world that isjust, fair, inclusive and tolerant.“The G77 should not relent in its demand for a more equitable international trading system as trade is an essential tool for economic development. It is, therefore, imperative that the global community should, as a matter of urgency and fairness, address factors responsible for trade imbalance between the North and South.“Such as the protectionist measures and barriers to trade policies of developed countries. Nigeria joins others to underscore the necessity for the timely conclusion of the DOHA Round of multilateral trade negotiation.”Onyeama said Nigeria was pleased with the role of the G77 at curbing illicit financial flows and the enhancement of asset recovery.