Faced by the ban - by the Singapore government of participants attending the annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF – Britain’s World Development Movement today brought forward the issue of its blockbuster report ‘Scrap the World Bank and IMF’.
WDM director Benedict Southworth said ‘Our government cannot allow critical voices on aid, trade and debt to be silenced by the Singapore regime. The development agenda has been a centrepiece of the Chancellor’s strategy and it would be both a tragedy and a comedy if authoritative and respected critical voices were silenced while he is chairing the key IMF decision making committee.’
WDM debt campaigns officer Martin Powell, who is to represent WDM at Singapore, said ‘Our government is yet to tell us that we have been banned. Our hope is that the government will finally add its voice to those of the World Bank and the IMF who have called for the banned participants be allowed to attend. Our government must move swiftly to agree with the Singapore authorities that both the World Development Movement and our colleagues from the global South who face a parallel ban will be permitted to participate in the annual meetings process.’
-Gordon Brown chairs the key IMF decision making committee (the IMFC) which meets on the 17th September during the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings (16th-20th September). Reform of the IMF is on the agenda.
-Martin Powell is WDM’s debt campaigns officer and joint chair of the Jubilee Debt Campaign. He has attended the last three annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF. Benedict Southworth is director of the World Development Movement.
-WDM is the only UK organisation that has been banned. The Italian group CRBM was banned as were Focus on the Global South, Freedom from debt coalition (Philippines) and INFID, Indonesia.
Founded in 1970, WDM campaigns to tackle the root causes of poverty. WDM believes that charity is not enough and aims to change the policies that keep the developing world poor. It is a democratic and politically independent organisation with 15,000 supporters and a strong role for its 100 local groups across the UK.
The full report is available as a pdf