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Process for the Fourth Pillar Online Discussion Space

In September 2008, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), laid out a four-pillar approach to reforming the governance structure of the IMF. The four pillars are: 1st Pillar: IMF Independent Evaluation Office of the IMF; 2nd Pillar: A working group of the IMF Executive Directors; 3rd Pillar: A committee of eminent persons; 4th Pillar: Direct interaction with civil society organizations. 6/10/2009.

[English / Español-Spanish / Français-French]

Background

In September 2008, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), laid out a four-pillar approach to reforming the governance structure of the IMF.

The four pillars are:

  • 1st Pillar: IMF Independent Evaluation Office of the IMF
  • 2nd Pillar: A working group of the IMF Executive Directors
  • 3rd Pillar: A committee of eminent persons
  • 4th Pillar: Direct interaction with civil society organizations.

Goal of the Online Discussion Space

Solicit Civil Society commentaries on the IMF’s Governance Reforms or “fourth pillar”.

Who Are Civil Society Organizations (CSOs)?

Civil Society encompasses all individuals and organizations that are not governmental. Therefore, included are: grassroots groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academics, think-tanks, individuals who do not presently work for any level of government or governmental organizations, and the private or for-profit sector.

Scope

The IMF developed thefourthpillar.org, an interactive website where CSOs can submit materials and offer feedback. The thefourthpillar.org is not part of the IMF website. The CSO Administrator of this site is New Rules for Global Finance. The IMF and the CSO Administrator will have administrative rights, but the CSO Administrator will be the exclusive content editor. The fourthpillar.org is a “by invitation” website. Invitations to participate in the consultation will be initially sent out by the CSO Administrator, once invited any member can invite other members. Any CSO can request an invitation by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

The main tool in the site is a forum/discussion board where members can post ideas, questions, and documents for other members to comment. CSOs in developing countries are especially urged to organize their own regional discussions on the site. There will be limited options for video-conferencing, especially with Southern-based CSOs.

The site will accept discussions and contributions through the duration of the Consultation. After the end date, all discussions will be archived and Members will have access to view, but not edit the content

CSO Administrator Contact

Organization: New Rules for Global Finance

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Fax: + 1 (202) 280-1141

Phone: +1 (202) 247-7486

Address: 1717 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Ste 801, Washington, DC 20036.

Guidelines for Submitting Content

Process for Generating Reports to the IMF

  • The writing and editing of the report will be coordinated by New Rules for Global Finance.
  • Draft versions of the interim and final reports will be posted for comment.
  • The principal language of the report will be English; the IMF has offered to translate the reports in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian, and Spanish.

Dissemination

  • Interim and the final CSO reports will be posted on the IMF website, and will be available for electronic dissemination to all CSO participants. New Rules sees dissemination as a core element of its responsibilities.
  • When there is considerable “traffic” on the web, there will be a week’s summary posted.

Opportunities for CSO Input

  • July 22, 2009: Meeting of the IMF Executive Directors: CSO submissions included in content for IMF Staff paper & preliminary summary of CSO Recommendations
  • September 1, 2009: CSO Paper submitted to IMF Executive Directors
  • October 6 or 7, 2009: Managing Director, Strauss-Kahn will to meet with CSOs at the IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting in Istanbul.

Timeline for the Consultation

By Friday, June 19, the CSO administrator will submit the first round of core documents to the IMF staff who are writing a paper to be submitted to the IMF Executive Board on July 1, and discussed July 22.

  • Consultation administrators are gathering documents that have been submitted by June 19.
  • These documents do not have to be summarized. Full texts will be submitted to the IMF staff writing the paper.
  • All CSOs are invited to post their submissions to the www.thefourthpillar.org. Submissions can also be e-mailed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

By Friday, July 10, the CSO administrator will submit a preliminary summary of the principles, recommendations and issues to be considered by the Board of Governors / IMFC / Executive Board

  • This 3-page paper will be submitted to the paper going to the Executive Board for their July 22 discussion.
  • In short, CSOs have 2 opportunities to provide input into the important July 22 discussion. (The June 19 submission of full texts and the July 10 3-page summary.)

Between August 1 and August 10,

  • CSOs can submit additional material to the Executive Board for the IMFC;
  • CSOs can meet personally, by teleconference and/or video conference with the IMF Staff writing the Board paper to discuss additional points, express priorities, give opportunities for those who are able to speak better than express themselves in writing, etc.;
  • The IMF External Relations team is seeking a time when CSOs can meet with the IMF Executive Board in an informal session, either early in August or late August/early September. (The Executive Board is in recess the second and third weeks of August.)

September 1,

  • The CSO paper can be submitted to the IMFC through the Executive Board if the Board decides to do so.

October 6/7, at the IMF/World Bank Annual Meeting in Istanbul,

  • Managing Director Strauss-Kahn has agreed to meet with CSOs in Istanbul regarding our input;
  • This could take the form of a “side-event” within the formal process open to other government representatives;
  • A side-event on IMF Governance Reform for CSO participants that is open to all CSOs.

Site Organization

Roles Responsibilities
Administrators Invite members, maintains the site, add features
Members Contribute to the discussion, organize own discussion around topics, disseminate reports
Moderators Monitor discussion and delete inappropriate comments

Status of the Four Pillars

1st Pillar: IEO of the IMF.

On May 28, 2008 the IEO released a report “Governance of the IMF: An Evaluation”

2nd Pillar: A working group of the IMF Executive Directors, chaired by Thomas Moser, Executive Director for Azerbaijan, Kyrgyz Republic, Poland, Serbia and Montenegro, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan of the IMF.

On July 31, 2008 the Report of the Executive Board Working Group on IMF Governance was released.

On September 29, 2008, the IMF Executive Board Discusses Working Group Report Following IEO Evaluation of Fund Corporate Governance, Public Information Notice no. 08/134, October 10th of 2008

3rd Pillar: A committee of eminent persons chaired by Trevor Manuel, Finance Minister of South Africa.

On March 24, 2009 the committee of eminent persons on IMF Governance Reform released their “Final Report.”

4th Pillar: Direct interaction with civil society organizations.

On March 11, 2009 CSOs met with IMF Staff to discuss reforming the governance of the IMF.

On April 17, 2009 the IMF Managing Director, Dominique Strauss-Khan, met with CSO representatives to hear their views on IMF Governance Reform. The IMF Managing Director asked New Rules to facilitate the outreach to CSOs, and to coordinate feedback.

On April 24, 2009 members of civil society wrote a Letter to the Managing Director of the IMF: Calling for Concrete Policy Reforms.

On June 11, 2009 the Fourth Pillar Online Discussion Space was launched.

[English / Español-Spanish / Français-French]

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