IMF board backs modest boost to developing nations’ clout

WASHINGTON, March 28, 2008 (AFP) – The International Monetary Fund’s executive board approved Friday measures that slightly boost the voting power of developing countries within the multilateral institution, officials said. IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn told reporters at a briefing that the reform proposals — which still require approval by member states and the Fund’s board of governors — form part of a wider overhaul of the IMF.

“As such, it’s not enough, but without this step it would have been totally impossible to move on rebuilding the legitimacy of a multilateral institution like the Fund,” Strauss-Kahn said.

Developing nations have pushed for more say in how the IMF, created in the aftermath of World War II, is run. Its management is dominated by powerful industrial nations that also rank among its biggest financial supporters.

The newly approved proposals call for developed countries to give up a small fraction of their voting rights — equivalent to 1.6 percentage points — to the benefit of emerging and developing countries.
“It’s a first step, others will follow,” Strauss-Kahn said.

Oxfam International, the humanitarian organization, criticized the proposals as an inadequate