Selected Decisions and Selected Documents of the IMF, Fortieth Issue -- Public Disclosure of Fund Statements for the World Trade Organization

Prepared by the Legal Department of the IMF
As updated as of April 30, 2019

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The Executive Board approves the proposed method of approving publication of Fund documents transmitted to the World Trade Organization for Balance of Payments consultations as set forth in paragraph 9 of SM/16/298. (SM/16/298, 10/24/16)

Decision No. 16072-(16/96),

October 28, 2016

Paragraph 9 of SM/16/298

9. In order to align the WTO’s policy on the disclosure of Fund statements and Fund staff statements with the Fund’s policies, Fund staff discussed with staff of the WTO Secretariat each organization’s respective policies and positions. Based on these discussions, it is proposed that the following actions be undertaken:

Fund statements: Prior to transmitting Fund statements to the WTO, Fund staff will seek the consent of the relevant member to publication of Fund statements by the WTO. As Board authorization is required to publish Board documents, staff proposes that the Board establish a general policy authorizing disclosure of Fund statements by the WTO, subject to the member’s consent. The Secretary’s memorandum transmitting a Fund statement for Board consideration would indicate: (i) the status of the member’s consent for the WTO to make the Fund statement publicly available, and (ii) a presumption that the Board authorizes publication by the WTO, and subsequently by the Fund, unless the Board specifically objects to such publication. While the Fund has not generally published Fund statements in the past, where authorization to publish has been granted to the WTO, going forward, staff will normally also publish the statement on the Fund’s website in the interest of transparency. Once the Board decides on the proposals, Fund staff will then inform the WTO Secretariat of the decision. If the member and the Fund consent to publication, the Fund will inform the WTO Secretariat of this decision while making it clear that, under the Fund’s legal framework, a member country can withdraw its consent to publication at any time before actual publication. If either the member or the Fund does not consent to publication, staff will inform the WTO that the document may not be made publicly available, but the Fund will transmit the statement to the WTO nonetheless in accordance with the Cooperation Agreement.

Fund staff statements: Fund staff statements will be made publicly available by the WTO only when the publication of the related Fund statement has been authorized by the Fund and the member. In addition, Fund staff members who have given statements will continue to be given adequate opportunity to review the draft minutes to verify the accuracy of the minutes

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