The Annual and Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group each year bring together central bankers, ministers of finance and development, private sector executives, civil society, and academics to discuss issues of global concern, including the world economic outlook, global financial stability, poverty eradication, jobs and growth, economic development, and aid effectiveness. The Meetings, which are widely covered by the international media, also offer an opportunity for civil society organizations to share their views and interact with policymakers in a global setting.
When, where, and who?
The 2016 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the IMF and the World Bank Group will be held in Washington, D.C., during the week of October 3-9. The Board of Governors for each institution consists of one governor from each of the institutions’ member countries, typically the finance minister, central bank governor, or minister of development. During the Annual Meetings, the Boards of Governors decide on major policy issues related to the future work of the two institutions, which are subsequently implemented by their respective Executive Boards.
The Annual Meetings are usually held for two consecutive years at the IMF and World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. and every third year in another member country. A complete list of meeting sites is available on the Annual Meetings website.
About 13,000 people are expected to attend the Annual Meetings this year. This number includes the governors themselves and their alternates, as well as members of their delegations, observers from other intergovernmental organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, and representatives from financial institutions and bodies, such as the Financial Stability Board, and various visitors, journalists, and representatives of civil society organizations.
In addition to the Annual Meetings, the IMF's International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee (DC) hold meetings each spring to discuss progress on the work of the institutions. While the plenary session of the IMF and World Bank’s Board of Governors is scheduled only during the Annual Meetings in the autumn, these highly attended meetings feature an extensive program of seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial markets. This year’s Spring Meetings events will take place in Washington, D.C., during the week of April 11-17.
What’s on the agenda?
At the heart of both the Annual and Spring Meetings are the meetings of the IMFC and DC, which discuss progress on the work of the IMF and the World Bank Group. The IMFC advises and reports to the IMF’s Board of Governors and will discuss the outlook for the global economy, developments in financial markets, as well as other pressing issues within the IMF’s mandate. The DC advises the Board of Governors of the World Bank and the IMF on critical development issues and on the financial resources required to promote economic development and poverty reduction in developing countries. At the conclusion of each of these meetings, communiqués will be released that will provide important guidance to the Executive Boards of the two institutions. This year’s Annual and Spring Meetings IMFC press conferences will be held on October 8 and April 16, respectively.
The Annual Meetings will open with the plenary, which will be held on the morning of October 7 and feature speeches by the Chairman of the Board of Governors and the heads of the two institutions.
Various country groups, such as the Group of Twenty (G-20), the Group of Twenty-Four (G-24), and the Commonwealth also take the opportunity to hold Ministerial-level meetings ahead of, or during the Annual and Spring Meetings. For more details, see the Guide to Committees, Groups, and Clubs.
In addition to major press conferences by the Managing Director of the IMF and the President of the World Bank, senior staff from both institutions will hold press briefings on global and regional economic outlooks and other topical issues.
In the week running up to the Annual and Spring Meetings, seminars and other discussion fora offer participants the opportunity for in-depth discussions on current issues that are of relevance to the world economy, financial stability, and economic development. The seminars—which include the Program of Seminars—are a premier global forum where policymakers, academics, civil society, the private sector, and other leaders in the international development and financial fields engage in dialogue on current global economic and financial issues of the day. For details, see the electronic schedule of the Program of Seminars and other events including the Per Jacobsson lecture held during the week of the Annual Meetings.
A Civil Society Policy Forum will also be held during the Annual and Spring Meetings. The Forum will comprise a series of policy dialogue sessions, which bring together Bank and Fund staff, civil society representatives, government officials, and others to discuss important issues being addressed during the Annual and Spring Meetings. Some sessions are organized by the IMF, some by the World Bank, and some by civil society organizations. Accredited civil society representatives will also be able to attend the seminars, interact with the press, and meet with government officials and Fund and Bank staff. For more information related to IMF activities, summarizing events, papers, and discussions relevant to CSOs, see the IMF and Civil Society page or the World Bank’s Civil Society website.