The April G20 Agenda
The UK government paper The Road to the London Summit: the Plan for Recovery calls
for reform of global financial institutions, more resources for the IMF and World Bank,
new financial regulation, new credit through multilateral development banks and
internationally coordinated measures to restore stability and a sustainable recovery.
Reference also has been made by UK ministers to a ‘rescue plan’ through the IMF and
World Bank for developing countries and for pushing measures to counter tax evasion
higher on the international agenda. Gordon Brown also has indicated the case for the
G20 to have its own secretariat.
A New Coordinating Framework
The G20 clearly needs a secretariat. But if there are to be ‘coordinated measures to
restore stability and for sustainable recovery’ these merit a dedicated institution, for
which there are good precedents.
For example, when the US decided on Marshall Aid it did not rely on the IMF and the
World Bank but created the OEEC for the highly successful European Recovery
At present there is no coordinating mechanism for the Bretton Woods or other global
institutions. Each reports independently to its governing body, and the UN agencies also
to the UN. This is proper and correct, but not coordination.
There now also are new key global players, such as the sovereign wealth funds, which
need a central role in a coordinated recovery since they have the surpluses which need
to be recycled into global investments to assure a long-term recovery of employment,
income and trade.
Coordination of recovery strategies also is needed between regional economic unions
and regional investment banks and funds. This is vital for a new more plural framework
for global cooperation reinforcing joint actions by the G20.
There also is a question of sequencing in relation to the aim of a major reform of
institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank. The very modest April 2008 quota and
vote reform to