Development Committee

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Development Committee

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The origins of the Development Committee are found in a recommendation of a committee of the Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund on the reform of the international monetary system. This Committee of Twenty, as it was known, recommended in October 1974 that a joint ministerial committee of the Fund and the World Bank be established to give positive encouragement to the net flow of real resources to developing countries. The Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund then approved parallel resolutions for the establishment of that committee.

The mandate of the Development Committee is, according to the publication The Development Committee: Its Origins and Achievements, 1974-1990, is to:

  • provide a focal point in the structure of international economic cooperation for the formation of a comprehensive overview of diverse international activities in the development area, for efficient and prompt consideration of developmental issues;

  • coordinate international efforts to deal with problems of financing development;

  • maintain an overview of the development process; and

  • advise and report to the Boards of Governors of the bank and the Fund on all aspects of the broad question of the transfer of real resources to developing countries and make suggestions regarding the implementation of its conclusions.

The Committee was specifically charged to give "urgent attention" to the problems of the least developed countries and to those developing countries most seriously affected by balance of payments problems. Over the years, the Development Committee has interpreted this mandate to include trade and global environmental issues, in addition to traditional development matters.

The Committee is advisory and not operational. It serves "as a unique forum of ministers concerned with finance and development," providing them "an opportunity for constructive and orderly dialogue among groups of countries at various stages of development."

The members of the Development Committee are chosen by each member government of the Bank or the Fund that appoints an executive director or by a group of members that elects an executive director. Usually the members are ministers of finance or development, and the term of office is two years.

The chairman of the Committee is selected from among its members, traditionally from among the developing countries. The Chairman meets with the President of the Bank and the Managing Director of the Fund to plan the program; this group is informally known as the "Troika."

The chairman is assisted by a small secretariat, located in the World Bank, headed by an executive secretary. The Executive Secretary is elected by the Committee and is traditionally a national of a developed country. The Executive Secretary at times has simultaneously held another position within the World Bank.

The Committee meets twice a year, once during the annual autumn meetings of the Bank and the Fund, and once in the spring. Many organizations participate in these meetings as observers, and a representative of the Group of 24 (a body consisting of African, Asian, and Latin American finance ministers) usually addresses the meeting. Papers to be discussed at each session are distributed in advance, and a communique is issued following each meeting. The Committee also presents an annual report to both Boards of Governors.

Past Development Committee Chairmen:

Henri Konan Bedie, 1974 - 1976

Cesar E. A. Virata, 1976 - 1980

David Ibarra Munoz, 1980 - 1982

Manuel Ulloa Elias, 1982

Ghulan Ishaq Khan, 1982 - 1986

Bernard T. G. Chidzero, 1986 - 1990

Alejandro Foxley, 1990 - 1992

Ricardo Hausmann, 1992 - 1993

Rudolf Hommes, 1993 - 1994

M'Hamed Sagou, 1994

Mourad Cherif, 1994 - 1995

Mohamend Kabbaj, 1995 - 1997

Driss Jettou, 1997 - 1998

Anwar Ibrahim, 1998

Tarrin Nimmanahaeminda, 1998 - 2000

Yashwant Sinda, 2000 - 2001

Trevor Manuel, 2001 - 2005

Alberto Carrasquilla, 2005 - 2007

Agustin Carstens, 2007 - 2009

Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, 2009 - 2011

Marek Belka, 2011 - present

Past Development Committee Executive Secretaries:

Henry J. Constanzo, 1974 - 1976

Sir Richard King, 1976 - 1980

M. M. Ahmad, 1980 - 1981

Hans E. Kastoft, 1981 - 1984

Fritz Fischer, 1984 - 1987

Yves L Fortin, 1988 - 1991

Peter Mountfield, 1992 - 1996

Alexander Shakow, 1996 - 2000

Thomas A. Bernes, 2000 - 2005

Kiyoshi Kodera, 2006 - 2010

Jorge Familiar, 2010 - present


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