(en) Forum on the International Financial Institutions in the

EW Plawiuk (ewplawiuk@mail.geocities.com)
Mon, 13 Oct 1997 07:45:29 -0600

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From: Eugene Plawiuk

I am forwarding this message from Nancy Hannemann of the U of A Interantional Centre on their upcoming conference on the IMF and World Bank.


I am taking this opportunity to send one last notice re: the Forum on the International Financial Institutions to you all. This conference is being attended primarily by faculty members and students, so I thought I would give the community sector one last prompting to participate! Even if you can't make it, any help spreading the word would be appreciated. And remember, everyone is welcome to the Friday night film at no cost.

An extensive package of background papers is available to registrants (at this late date I am no longer mailing them, but they could be picked up here at the International Centre).

Nancy Hannemann Nancy.Hannemann@ualberta.ca (Nancy Hannemann)



October 17 and 18, 1997 University of Alberta

Friday, October 17 Film: "The Bank, the President, and the Pearl of Africa" 7:30 p.m. Education Building North 2-115

Saturday, October 18 Roundtable discussion with representatives of The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund, the Asian Development Bank, the Canadian government, and Canadian and Southern non-governmental organizations. 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 2-1 University Hall


Free trade, cuts to government services, the export of jobs South -- all have brought home to Canadians how rapidly we are being carried along on the wave of global economic integration. Is the promise of prosperity truly global or are we doomed to leave growing numbers of people, even whole regions of the world, behind?

The World Bank, The International Monetary Fund and the Regional Development Banks were created by the industrial nations to shape a postwar, post colonial world in their image. Can these institutions now manage the economic dislocation faced by hundreds of millions in a world of global competition among free market titans?

In 1995 G7 leaders met in Halifax and called for the international financial institutions (IFIs) to embark on a wide ranging renewal to meet the challenges of global economic integration in the 21st century. Key among these reforms were:

Economic Reform, Poverty Reduction and Sustainable Development

* Making sustainable development a central goal of policies and programs * Integrating poverty and environmental concerns into IFI decisions * Increasing resources to basic social programs to attack the root causes of poverty * Developing a comprehensive approach to relieving multilateral debt

Renewing the International Financial Institutions for the 21st Century

* encouraging transparency, accountability and participatory development strategies by governments * increasing transparency in IFI assessments and policy advice * developing strategies to respond to the growth of private capital

As part of its continuing work to inform Canadians about the need for fundamental reform of the international financial institutions (IFIs), member organizations of the Halifax Initiative have joined with organizations in Edmonton and Vancouver to host two roundtable forums to hear from IFI representatives how their organizations are responding to the G7 call for renewal. What reforms are underway? Will they go far enough? Are they the right reforms?


Friday evening's events will feature the film, "The Bank, the President, and the Pearl of Africa" followed by a reception. The film will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room 2-115 Education Building North. All are welcome, no registration is required.

"The Bank, the President, and the Pearl of Africa" Background Information

"The Bank, the President, and the Pearl of Africa" is about Uganda's attempt to escape its legacy of poverty and whether the World Bank can be of any use to Uganda in its efforts to create a new beginning in Africa. Debt is the biggest problem costing Uganda $200 million a year, more than it spends on health and education together.

Viewers are taken inside the World Bank in Uganda and in Washington, where James Wolfensohn, the Bank's new President, is under a lot of pressure to show that Africa is not a disaster area for the World Bank and its policies. Success in Uganda is important to the Bank. The film portrays some of the political and bureaucratic manouevering resulting in the agreement under which Uganda is to become the first beneficiary of the Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative for debt reduction.

Produced by the International Broadcasting Trust of London, England, this showing will be the film's premiere in Canada.


D.C. Amerasinghe was educated at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, where he studied law. He joined the Asian Development Bank in 1978, beginning his career with the Bank as Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel, a position he held until 1983. Mr. Amerasinghe was appointed Senior Counsel in 1983 and held that position until 1985. In 1986, he was appointed Assistant General Counsel and in 1990 he became the Deputy General Counsel of the Bank. In 1993, Mr. Amerasinghe became the Bank's Deputy Secretary. He was appointed Secretary in 1994, serving in that position until August 1997. He is currently the Director of the North American Representative Office.

Thomas Bernes has been the Executive Director at the International Monetary Fund representing Canada, Ireland, Belize and a number of the Caribbean island states since 1996. Mr. Bernes has filled a number of posts with the federal Department of Finance. As Assistant Deputy Minister of Finance responsible for International Trade and Finance, he was the Alternate Governor for Canada for the International Monetary Fund, the Asian, African and Inter-American Development Banks and the G-7 Finance Deputy.

Jim Carruthers earned a BA in economics in 1969, pursued Masters Studies in Political Science and completed his Graduate studies in Public Administration in 1975. He joined the Canadian Foreign Service in 1972 and the Canadian International Developemnt Agency (CIDA) in 1978. During the past twenty-five years he has been responsible for several Canadian Aid Programs, including those in Jamaica, Indonesia, Thailand, Indochina and the Philippines. From 1984 to 1986, Mr. Carruthers was the Director of Thailand and Indochina Programs in Ottawa. From 1990 to 1992 he was the Director of Policy and Strategic Planning for Asia Programs, and from 1992 to 1993 he was the Director-General for South East Asia and Pacific Rim Countries. Currently, he is the Director General for International Financial Institutions.

Tim Cullen, Senior Advisor, External Affairs, World Bank, joined the Bank in 1978. He has been associated with a number of major global events in recent years ranging from the effort to transform the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe to market economies to the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. He is the author of "Yugoslavia and the World Bank" and has recently played an active role in the World Bank's work on the reconstruction of Bosnia. He is the Chairman of the International Multimedia Consortium for Environment and Development.

Roy Culpeper is President of the North-South Institute. Previously he worked for the federal Department of External Affairs, where he was the officer responsible for the World Bank and other multilateral development agencies. From 1983 to 1986 he was advisor to the Canadian Executive Director of the World Bank. He has published extensively on global debt and international finance, including "High Stakes and Low Incomes: Canada and the Development Banks" and "Multilateral Development Banks: Titans or Behemoths?"

Ishrat Husain is Director of the World Bank's Poverty and Social Policy Department, and newly named Director for a group of former Soviet Union countries in Central Asia. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, Mr. Husain has many years experience at the Bank including, in recent years, responsibility for debt issues, and as Chief Economist for Africa. Mr. Husain is author of "Adjustment in Africa: Lessons from Case Studies," "Dealing with the Debt Crisis," "African External Finance in the 1990s" and "Poverty and Adjustment: The Case of Africa."

Kamal Malhotra is founder and co-director of Focus on the Global South, an international program of progressive development policy research and practice. Focus is affiliated with the Social Research Institute of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand. Mr. Malhotra has worked extensively on World Bank and IFI issues for almost a decade. He is currently participating in a World Bank review of structural adjustment programs with worldwide citizens groups.

Robin Round is Coalition Coordinator for the Halifax Initiative. Her work includes research, education, and advocacy at the national and international levels with policy-makers, media, NGOs and the public. She is the author of the coalition's annual Bretton Woods Report Card which evaluates and grades the institutions' progress toward reform. Robin has worked as policy analyst and environmental advocate for the Sierra Club of Canada and Friends of the Earth on issues including multilateral financial mechanisms and international agreements to protect the global commons.

David Sevigny is Chief of the International Financial Institutions Section in the Department of Finance which is responsible for the operations on the IMF, World Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Previously, Mr. Sevigny has worked at the World Bank, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Bank of Canada. In recent years, he has been involved in designing the Paris Club's first "concessional" rescheduling agreements (so-called "Toronto terms"), establishing the World Bank's country assistance strategies and annual report on poverty reduction, and participating in the institutional reform proposals coming out of the G-7 Economic Summit in Halifax. Mr. Sevigny is also the author of the North-South Institute publication The Paris Club: An Inside View.

Veena Siddharth is The Economic and Social Policy Advisor for Oxfam International in Washington DC, responsible for developing and implementing advocacy strategies on World Bank and International Monetary Fund policies. Ms. Siddharth was field coordinator in Malawi for the United Nations Development Program social sectors project, and has previous field experience in Nepal and Honduras working particularly on women's credit schemes. She also worked for the World Bank on poverty and gender issues and before that in their Africa Department assessing poverty reduction programs. Ms. Siddharth is a graduate in Public Policy from Harvard University. She speaks Spanish, French, Nepali and Tamil.


Clyde Sanger has had an extensive career as a journalist covering international affairs. He has been active in several Canadian NGOs and teaches journalism at Carleton University. Mr. Sanger is the author of numerous books including "Half a Loaf: Canada's Semi-Role in Developing Countries," "Safe and Sound: Disarmament and Development in the Eighties," and "Canadians and the United Nations."


The Alberta Centre for International Education is an organization committed to the development of international education programs and initiatives in the Alberta public education system. The Centre supports international marketing initiatives, pursues contracts for international projects and sponsors professional development and internationalization activities for participating institutions. ACIE's activities complement the economic efforts of the private sector and the municipal, provincial and federal governments. (Phone: 414-0443, website: www.acie.ab.ca).

The Halifax Initiative is a coalition of environment, development, social justice and church organizations deeply concerned about the environmental and social impacts of the policies and programs of the international financial institutions. Coalition members are Oxfam Canada, CUSO, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, the Sierra Club, the Inter-Church Coalition on Africa, RESULTS Canada, Social Justice Committee of Montreal, World Interaction Mondiale - Ottawa. (Website: www.sierraclub.ca/national/halifax/).

The International Centre, University of Alberta, serves students by offering programs which facilitate direct access to an international education and by fostering an international dimension on campus. The Global Education Program, one of three programs at the Centre, raises awareness in the University and broader Edmonton communities about global issues including sustainable human development, South-North relations, human rights, environmental, and security issues. (Phone: 492-2692, website: www.intlcent.ualberta.ca).

Funding Agencies

Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) International Development Research Centre (IDRC) World Bank


Registration is $10 for students and low income and the regular registration fee is $25. Registration is limited to 125 participants.

For further information or to register, call the International Centre at 492-2692.

_____________________________ Nancy.Hannemann@ualberta.ca Global Education Coordinator International Centre University of Alberta 172 HUB International Edmonton, AB, Canada, T6G 2E2 (403) 492-2692

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