Following is some updated information on the upcoming IMF/World Bank Annual Meetings and related civil society events, including:
Registration, venues and visas
Compiled World Bank and civil society event calendar, including information on how to submit event details
Who’s in town for the meetings
Additional resources and recent press
Download the September 1 update and calendar for CSOs
Indonesian Police To Help Maintain Security During IMF Sessions
Batam (ANTARA News) - A number of Indonesian police personnel will be involved in maintaining security during the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank sessions in Singapore next September 14-19, Batam City Police Chief Senior Commissioner Eko Hadi Sutejo said in Singapore on Tuesday.
Contacted via cellular phone, Eko Hadi Sutejo said the Indonesian police personnel would take part in the IMF`s internal security activities before and during the IMF and World Bank sessions.
"I have been in Singapore since yesterday and will possibly return to Batam today to organize the final preparations for the dispatch of Batam police personnel," he said.
He said the Batam police personnel who would be sent to Singapore had actually been well prepared but final preparations should be made. He did not disclose the number of police Batam would send to Singapore.
In the run-up to the IMF sessions, many foreign guests, including non-governmental organization activists from various countries have been arriving during the week in Singapore.
It is in the face of this condition that the Indonesian police personnel got the honor and were given the opportunity to take part in the internal security activities, according to Sutejo. (*)
Singapore blocks IMF street protests
Published: September 4, 2006
SINGAPORE Singapore will not lift a ban on street protests during International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings this month because it wants to avoid the riots seen at similar events elsewhere, the senior minister, Goh Chok Tong, said Monday.
"We cannot allow processions, demonstrations in the streets," said Goh, a former prime minister. "It got out of hand in Seattle, it got out of hand in Hong Kong and this is Singapore. We will not allow that."
Singapore is wary of the type of riots that marred World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle in 1999 and in Hong Kong last year. Singapore has restricted public assembly since communal violence killed 36 people in the 1960s, and will not make exceptions for overseas visitors at the joint annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank, Goh said. The meetings are scheduled for Sept. 19-20.
The ban on outdoor protests "reflects Singapore's very strong preoccupation with security," said Bruce Gale, an independent consultant on political risks based in Singapore.
At the WTO meeting in Seattle in 1999, the city's mayor declared a civil emergency and ordered an overnight curfew after protests turned violent. During a WTO meeting in Hong Kong in 2005, more than 950 people were arrested after protesters blocked a main thoroughfare for almost 24 hours in the city's worst riots in a decade.
"This is denying the opportunity for millions of people in the world to have their voices heard," said Ruki Fernando, a spokesman for the Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, a human rights group based in Bangkok.
At the Singapore meetings, groups accredited by the World Bank and IMF will be allowed to demonstrate in part of the Suntec Singapore convention center that is the site of the meetings.
Some 200 civil society organizations have been accredited to participate in the meetings and another 200 have applied to attend, said the World Bank, which has said it would like Singapore to allow the organizations to conduct outdoor protests.
Singapore will allow groups that obtain police permission to gather indoors or at designated venues away from the city-center convention center, though not in any way that will affect the functioning of the city, Goh said.
"Lives must not be disrupted," he said during an interview on the grounds of the Istana, the official residence of the Singapore president. "If they demonstrate peacefully, it must be within the rules which have been set."
The government will not waive rules to which the country's 4.4 million residents are subject or create the impression that "foreigners have more rights than Singaporeans," said Goh, who was the prime minister from 1990 to 2004.
The authorities in Singapore, which will also be host of a meeting of Group of 7 finance ministers this month, also said that they wanted to prevent the meetings, or any outdoor demonstrations, from being used as cover by terrorists.
Separately, Goh said that Singapore and other Asian countries should push for a bigger voice in the IMF as the region gains more importance in the global economy.