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A Factsheet - September 2006

The 2006 Annual Meetings 

The Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group is the only global event that each year brings together thousands of leaders from the financial and development field, including monetary policymakers, private-sector executives, and academic experts,  to discuss issues of global concern, such as the world economic outlook, poverty eradication, economic development, and effective aid. The Meetings, which are widely covered by the international media, also offer an opportunity to Civil Society Organizations to air their views and interact with policy makers in a multilateral setting.


When, where, and who? 


The 2006 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and World Bank Group will be held at the Suntec Center in Singapore on September 19-20. The Board of Governors for each institution consists of one Governor from each of the IMF’s 184 member countries. For the IMF, these are typically the finance ministers or the heads of central banks. During the Annual Meetings, the Board of Governors can decide on major policy issues related to the future work of the two institutions, which are subsequently implemented by their respective Executive Boards.  


In the days preceding the formal Annual Meetings, there will be meetings of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the advisory body of the IMF, and the Development Committee, a forum of the World Bank and the IMF that facilitates consultation and consensus-building on development issues. This year, the IMFC will meet on Sunday, September 17, and the Development Committee on Monday, September 18. The communiqués issued after the meetings of these committees give important guidance to the institutions’ Executive Boards, and generate wide coverage by the media and close attention among Civil Society Organizations. 


The Annual Meetings are usually held for two consecutive years at the IMF and World Bank headquarters in Washington D.C. and every third year in another member country.[1] The last three Meetings abroad were held in Dubai (2003); Prague (2000); and Hong Kong (1997). A complete list is available on the Annual Meetings website.  


The Singapore Meetings are expected to be attended by about 16,000 participants, including the Governors, their Alternates, and delegations (approximately 3,000 people); 350 observers from intergovernmental agencies (e.g., OPEC, OECD); 350 special guests (high-level representatives from global financial institutions); about 2,400 visitors (including representatives from financial institutions and private individuals); 1,300 journalists; 300 representatives of civil society organizations; and 700 IMF/World Bank staff in addition to local staff and security personnel. Annual meetings at headquarters are usually attended by about 8,000 participants. For more information, go to the Annual Meetings website. 


What’s on the agenda?


The International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), which is currently chaired by UK Chancellor Gordon Brown, advises the Board of Governors and will discuss the outlook for the global economy and developments in financial markets. At the 2006 Annual Meetings, the committee will review the implementation of the IMF’s Medium-Term Strategy with a focus on IMF governance (voice and representation) and on adapting the IMF surveillance framework. The IMFC will also examine the IMF’s engagement with emerging market countries; and IMF support to low-income members in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. At the conclusion of its meeting, the IMFC will release a communiqué, which will be followed by a press conference by Chancellor Brown and IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato. For more details, see the Annual Meetings’  schedule of events.


Other events


Various country groups, such as the Group of 24 or the Group of Seven Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, also take the opportunity to meet with their members ahead of the Annual Meetings. For more details, see a Guide to Committees, Groups and Clubs.


In addition to the major press conferences on the Global Financial Stability Report, the World Economic Outlook, and the Annual Meetings agenda by the Managing Director, IMF senior staff will also hold press briefings and seminars on regional economic outlooks and other topical issues. For more details, see the press schedule.


From Saturday, September 16, through Monday, September 18, the Program of Seminars—entitled “Asia in the World, the World in Asia”—will offer participants the opportunity for in-depth discussion on financial sector issues. The Program is a premier global forum where private sector executives from around the world, high-level policymakers, and other leaders in the international development and financial fields hold a constructive dialogue to strengthen the network for cooperation in the global economy. This year’s keynote speaker will be the President of the Republic of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo. For more details, see the Program of Seminars webpage.




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[1] When member countries voice their interest in hosting the Annual Meetings, an assessment is made of the venue and logistics and presented to the Executive Boards for decision.