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Submitted by Web Master on 25 April 2013

Policy Forum was invited to attend the 2013 the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington DC that brought together thousands of government officials, journalists, civil society organizations, academics and private sector representatives. The meetings are held annually to discuss progress on the work of the World Bank and the IMF and include a series of seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial markets.

For CSOs attending, there were pre-Civil Society Forum events including orientation sessions on the IMF, aimed at introducing IMF policies and programmes, and the World Bank, which focused on the three major agencies of the World Bank Group – IBRD, IFC and MIGA – and its four independent compliance mechanisms. CSO representatives in attendance also met Washington-based NGO speakers and other CSOs who shared lessons on engaging the WB and IMF around development policies including key issues such as climate change, safeguards and open development.

The meetings also offered CSOs attending an opportunity to meet with the Executive Directors of the World Bank Group to exchange views on policy issues such as poverty eradication, governance and climate change.

The IMF was keen to demonstrate tools to support its policy advice to low-income countries so they held a session on this and gave some country examples of their application and how they help strengthen financial sector surveillance, manage natural resource revenues and assess the linkages between scaling up of public investments, growth and debt sustainability.

With world growth currently below pre-recession levels, it was timely that the IMF and Oxfam International co-sponsored a discussion on IMF job and growth to focus on over 200 million people out of work and the subdued global output, as well as discuss what governments can do to support inclusive growth.