Washington: International Monetary Fund managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn unveiled on Thursday a new high-level international committee tasked with proposing reforms to help the embattled institution maintain its relevance.
Strauss-Kahn has appointed “a committee of eminent persons to assess the adequacy of the Fund’s current framework for decision making,” the IMF said in a statement.
The panel would “advise on any modifications that might enable the institution to fulfill its global mandate more effectively.”
The move came three months after internal IMF auditors released a harshly critical report on governance and urged “major changes” to maintain the embattled institution’s relevance.
“Important progress has been made in the reform of the Fund’s governance, including the initiation of a process to realign members’ voting power within the Fund,” Strauss-Kahn said in the statement.
“However, the task of enhancing the Fund’s legitimacy and effectiveness must also come to grips with the question of whether the significant changes since the establishment of the Fund require reform of the institutional framework through which members’ voting power is actually exercised.”
Strauss-Kahn said he hoped to have the committee’s assessment by next April as part of efforts to produce concrete reform proposals for the 185-nation institution by September 2009.
The new committee will focus on members’ voting rights and the respective roles of the board of governors, the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), the executive board and Fund management.
South Africa’s finance minister, Trevor Manuel, will chair the panel.
Its members include ex-IMF chief Michel Camdessus; Mohamed El-Erian, co-chief executive and co-chief operating officer of Pacific Investment Management Co.; Indonesian Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati; Guillermo Ortiz, head of the Bank of Mexico; Robert Rubin, senior counselor at Citigroup; and two university professors, Nobel economics laureate Amartya Sen at Harvard University and Kenneth Dam at the University of Chicago.
In April, the IMF’s member nations overwhelmingly approved vote and quota reform measures that strengthen the role of developing and emerging market countries.
That reform is still in the process of ratification by members, an IMF official said at a news conference Thursday.