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Rutgers Model United Nations - Institute for Domestic and ...

Rutgers Model United Nations - Institute for Domestic and ...


Rutgers Model United Nations 11 help manage the fund and elect the managing director. Its current Managing Director is Dominique Strauss-Kahn of France, following the tradition of a European as the leader of the IMF. The IMF as a body has representation from each member state in its Board of Governors, but they have an interesting method of voting on measures. Instead of assigning each country one vote, the IMF assigns votes in terms of contribution to the monetary reserves. Countries that donate more also receive a larger piece of the vote. 15 The IMF’s policy preference is to maintain its institutional mandates: currency stability, preventing and helping countries recover from economic crisis, and providing short-term loans to help countries correct issues with balance of payment. Correcting balance of payment occurs when countries are short of foreign exchange at a time when payments to other countries exceed foreign exchange earnings; because the situation is temporary, created by payment lags, the IMF will make loans to fill the void until the foreign exchange receipts begin to equalize. The other goals and functions of the IMF include serving as a forum for its members to voice their concerns and providing technical and financial assistance as well as training to countries that require guidance in order to achieve stable economic growth. This task predominantly entails helping countries build sound financial infrastructure and institutions. 16 The optimum outcome to the policy dilemma in the eyes of the IMF is to continue their policies. The IMF believes that its policies are helping to strengthen the global economy by preventing economic crisis, helping countries recover with aid loans and using conditionality to help keeps loans viable. The motivations of the IMF are at times murky because it is a voting institution with one-hundred-eighty-five voting members. Some critics accuse the IMF of being a policy tool of the United States and Europe, whose large contributions give those states a lot of say when it comes to voting. Critics 15 The IMF at a Glance, IMF, October 2007, Date Accessed 4/2/08, 16 “What is the IMF?”, IMF, September 30, 2006, Date Accessed

Rutgers Model United Nations 12 add that the basic motivations of the IMF are to protect the economic interests of the United States and European Union rather than maintain economic stability worldwide. 17 But in general, the motivation for the actions of the IMF relate back to the Fund’s mandate, established more than sixty years ago. The IMF primarily exists to maintain stable exchange rates and regulate the global economy through the use of loans drawn from the fund, and providing the global community financial and technical assistance drawn from IMF staff. 18 Due to the increasing criticism of the IMF, the Fund appears to be increasingly amenable to compromise and negotiation. Its policy shift in the early 1970s in response to Richard Nixon’s removal of the United States from the gold standard proves that the IMF is determined to remain relevant. As the criticisms mount, the IMF has proved willing to reinvent itself. In 2005, the Fund announced a debt relief plan that included debt forgiveness, bowing to international pressure. In conjunction with the World Bank, the IMF began to evaluate certain countries for debt forgiveness in 2007. 19 Though it is an enormous institution employing hundreds of analysts and economists with huge gold stores and monetary reserves, the IMF has no choice but to be open to negotiation and compromise on its policies. 20 World Bank The World Bank was established at the Bretton Woods Conference of 1944. It, like its close associate the IMF, is loosely affiliated with the United Nations and is a huge, global financial institution. The World Bank, however, has a very separate set of goals, parameters, and mandates than the IMF. The World Bank was originally conceived 4/2/08, 17 Ruth Ben-Artzi, Conference Papers -- International Studies Association; 2004 Annual Meeting, Montreal, Canada, p1-44, Accessed through Academic Search Premier 18 Ibid. 19 Lesley Wroughton, IMF, World Bank clear Liberia for debt relief, Reuters Africa Date Accessed 3/26/08 20 Ibid.

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