Reform of the International Institutions

Reform of the International Institutions

The IMF, World Bank and the WTO

Peter Coffey and Robert J. Riley

The seemingly endless problems encountered by the IMF, WTO and World Bank provide major reasons for seeking reform. However, an additional impetus is the changing balance of economic power in the world. The volume begins with an overview of the Bretton Woods and international trading systems. Following this are discrete, in-depth discussions of the three institutions from American and European points of view. The authors emphasise the need for making the IMF and World Bank more regional in structure and, like the European Bank, more frugal in the lifestyles of their officials. Similarly, they call for a narrower focus in the mission of the World Bank and the IMF. In the case of the WTO, they call for a democratic reform of the organisation comprising participation by experts and, above all, better representation and support for Third World countries.

Chapter 8: Conclusions: The Future

Peter Coffey and Robert J. Riley

Subjects: economics and finance, international economics


Peter Coffey and Robert J. Riley The general overall conclusion to this book is that the reform of the three international institutions, the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO, is both desirable and necessary. Furthermore, this would seem to be a most opportune moment in time to examine this issue and to undertake reform. Having made this observation, it is important to note that whilst there is a general consensus on both sides of the Atlantic that Third World countries should be better represented in the three international organisations and more should be done to help really poverty stricken countries, views do differ on how this should be done. Furthermore, whilst the United States, ever since the publication of the Meltzer Commission Report, has tended to be more active with its proposals for the reform of the IMF and the World Bank, the European Union, has, whilst being concerned with the reform of these two organisations, been particularly concerned with the reform of the workings of the WTO. In fact, it is perhaps notable that in November 2004, the European Parliament issued its third report on the WTO (this report is reproduced as Appendix 3). What, therefore, are the main questions and problems which must be tackled and on which issues is there a meeting of minds between Americans and Europeans? Regarding both the IMF and the World Bank, there would appear to be a consensus that their roles should be more clearly defined. Here, some would have them...

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