south-north development monitor SUNS [Email Edition]

SUNS #4447, Thursday, 3 June 1999


Development: IBRD borrowers pay for global public goods, G-7 agendas (Chakravarthi Raghavan, Geneva)

Latin America: Legality of external debt questioned (IPS, Lima)

Japan: Helping Asian region the way it wants to (IPS, Tokyo)

Development: "Coca-ColoNisation" of the Third World (IPS, New York)

Yugoslavia: No apologies, just collateral damage (IPS, Belgrade)

Yugoslavia: Growing anti-war sentiment in Canada (IPS, Ottawa)


Some excerpts from selected articles:

Development: IBRD borrowers pay for global public goods, G-7 agendas

Geneva, 2 June (Chakravarthi Raghavan) -- The World Bank is increasingly spending money and allocating funds to programs for global public goods and foreign policy interests of major share- holders, but the costs are borne by the borrowers from the bank's normal IBRD window, according to a critique by Davesh Kapur of the Bank's sources and allocation of net income and resources.

Among "global public goods" are agricultural and health research programmes; and those serving G-7 political and foreign policy interests or the personal agendas of Bank staff include the HIPC initiative (being pushed by some G-7 countries, international institutions like the UN and UNCTAD, and many national and international NGOs), the MIGA, the technical assistance programmes to assist the former Soviet Union, and jump-starting reconstruction in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The costs of these programmes, says Kapur, are increasingly cutting into the Bank's net income and reserves. The Bank management's response has been to propose an increase in borrowing costs, through front-loaded fees, with adverse consequences for the Bank's governance.

Rather these costs should be met by more equitable burden-sharing among non-borrowing share-holders, IBRD borrowers, IDA borrowers, and staff and management. The critique by Devesh Kapur, at the Harvard University Center for International Affairs, is in Volume X of the International Monetary and Financial Issues for the 1990s, published by UNCTAD, containing analytical studies for the G-24 developing country group at the IMF/World Bank.

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