- 1974 - 1998 (Creation)
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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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The Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing countries, usually known as the Development Committee, is an advisory body only. The primary function of the staff of the Committee is to arrange the Committee's semiannual meetings where issue papers are discussed. The records of the Development Committee, therefore, are primarily those of meetings and of the discussion documents prepared for the meetings. Transcripts of the proceedings exist for all meetings of the Committee, and are the only series of records that covers the entire history of the Committee.
The Committee's activities include support for international cooperation in development activities, coordination of international efforts in finance development, and advice to the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on all aspects of the transfer of real resources to developing countries. These activities are reflected in both the papers prepared for the Committee and in the work of a number of task forces and working groups the Committee established in the 1970s and 1980s.
During its first twenty years of existence, the Committee staff maintained subject and administrative files that contained background information on topics, programs, organizations, and meetings of relevance to the Development Committee's interests. Because during part of this period the Executive Secretary of the Development Committee also served as the Deputy Secretary of the World Bank, some information in the subject and administrative files relates primarily to the Bank and its activities rather than to the Committee itself. These files are now discontinued, and the Committee staff files all records relating to a meeting, including administrative matters, background information, and official numbered documents, in a central meetings file. Chronological files have also been discontinued as of 1998.