IMF member countries demand end to US blockade of quota reform


– Member states of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are losing patience with the US government over its failure to ratify quota and governance reforms agreed to five years ago.

The 24-member International Monetary and Financial Committee expressed dismay over the delays Friday at the annual meeting of the IMF and World Bank in Lima, Peru.

“Recognizing the importance of these reforms for the credibility, legitimacy, and effectiveness of the IMF, we reaffirm that their earliest implementation remains our highest priority and urge the United States to ratify the 2010 reforms as soon as possible,” the committee said.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said she hoped the US would ratify the reforms by the end of the year.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew agreed to lobby the US Congress to adopt the reforms. The US is the only country where the reforms have not been approved.

The quota and governance reforms would change the voting rights to benefit developing countries like China and Brazil, giving them more influence to reflect to their economic significance.

The US vote at the IMF is equal to about 17 per cent. Important decisions made by the Fund require an 85-per-cent majority, which means the US has veto power.

The annual meeting, being held in Lima for the first time, also signalled an increase in funding for climate-related development.

The World Bank will make available up to 29 billion dollars annually for climate protection. Bank President Jim Yong Kim said 28 per cent of all the institution’s projects could be dedicated to climate protection by 2020.

Previously, about 10 billion dollars annually was made available for direct help in the area.

The money is to be use by member countries to adjust for the results of climate change, by building flood protection and accelerating the expansion of solar and wind energy.