The International Monetary Fund should reform its procedures in order to enhance accountability and better reflect the needs of aid-recipient countries, Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa said Monday.
Miyazawa’s proposals are the latest in a recent series of Japanese initiatives aimed at reforming the IMF, which has been playing a crucial but oft-doubted rescue role in the international financial crisis.
The package of proposals is expected to be discussed at an international financial meeting in Bonn scheduled for March 11, a Finance Ministry official said. Representatives from 33 countries, including the Group of Seven major industrial nations and emerging market economies, will be present.
Miyazawa’s proposals were included in a speech, read out by Parliamentary Vice Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki on his behalf, at a two-day symposium of the World Bank that opened Monday in Tokyo.
During the speech, Miyazawa also proposed that the World Bank create a “Development Award” to encourage both academic and practical efforts to cope with problems in developed countries.
Miyazawa made four points of recommendations regarding IMF procedures. He called on the fund to invite officials from a crisis-hit country to participate in board discussions to design a rescue program for that country.
He suggested that the IMF set up program committees within the board to discuss prospective programs before staff begin negotiations with the aid recipient.
The IMF should also publish all staff papers on surveillance and programs and create an evaluation unit reporting directly to the fund’s Interim Committee, he said. These proposals apparently address the supposed inflexibility of the IMF’s procedures, seen in deals with some Asian countries.
Miyazawa said the substance of IMF policy advice, which accompanies financial aid, should also be reviewed.