1999 Annual
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Information for Journalists

Press Accreditation and Registration
Press Room and Communications Arrangements
Interview Requests
TV and Still Photo Pools
Official and Press Events

The Annual Meetings and related events of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be held in Washington, D.C. on September 21-30, 1999. The main official events and press conferences schedule are listed below. Other press events will be announced at the time of the Meetings. The Press Room will open at 9:00 a.m. on September 21, 1999.

Press Accreditation and Registration

The World Bank and IMF welcome journalists at their meetings. To obtain accreditation to attend, please apply by September 14, 1999.

By mail:
Press Registration
Records and Information Section
International Monetary Fund
Washington, DC 20431

By facsimile:
[1] (202) 623-4100
The telephone number of the Facsimile Center is:
[1] (202) 623-6262.

To be accredited, you must hold valid press credentials.

Journalists in the Washington area must have press credentials issued by either the White House, the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, or the U.S. Department of Defense. Please give your credential details on the accreditation form.

Journalists based elsewhere should submit either: 1) a copy of press credentials issued by national or local authorities, or by a professional association of journalists; or 2) an assignment letter from their Editor, along with a copy of the publication, where applicable.

Non-governmental organizations can secure one, non-transferable NGO Press badge per organization provided the person securing the accreditation is a verified staff member of a publication produced by that organization. The publication must have a circulation beyond the NGO's internal staff and membership. Evidence supporting this verification is required when the application is submitted.

Requests for accreditation are accepted unless the applicant cannot show he or she is a journalist. Unless you hear otherwise, you can assume your accreditation is in order. If you have questions about your accreditation, please contact Graham Newman or William Murray of the IMF's Media Relations Division (see Contact Information).

Journalists who have applied for accreditation can pick up credentials for the Meetings from 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 21, at the press registration desk located inside the main entrance of IMF headquarters at 700 19th Street NW, Washington, D.C. From September 21 through September 27, the desk will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. You must come in person to register and present press credentials bearing a photograph. The Meetings' credential grants access to the Press Room, press conferences and briefings, press seminars and some official events. Additionally, a satellite press registration desk will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. from September 23 through September 30 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road NW. The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel is the site of the Annual Meetings 1999 Program of Seminars and the Annual Meetings.

We strongly urge you to apply for accreditation before the Meetings, because you may face lengthy delays if you apply for accreditation once the Meetings are underway. Journalists, TV camera crews, and photographers who do not have any of the press identification described above may be subject to delay in accreditation.

Press Room and Communications Arrangements

The Press Room at IMF headquarters, Red Level, will operate from Tuesday, September 21, through Monday, September 27. It will have 177 work spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis. Each desk will be equipped with power outlets and a telephone from which local calls can be made free of charge. Long-distance calls may be placed collect, or through telephone credit cards. A vendor will be on site to enable journalists to purchase telephone cards for direct-dial long-distance calls. Press Room telephones can be used for data transmission via laptop. Self-service facsimile machines will be available in the Press Room, although use will require a major credit card.

From Tuesday, September 28, through Thursday, September 30, the Press Room will operate from the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, Atrium Level. Work space at the hotel is less limited compared to IMF headquarters, although it is still available to journalists on a first-come, first-served basis. To assist journalists covering the 1999 Annual Meetings Program of Seminars, desks and local phones will be available on a limited basis starting on Saturday, September 25, in the Press Room at the hotel. A fully staffed Press Room will not be in operation at the hotel until September 28.

Four Internet kiosks will also be available in the Press Rooms. However, e-mail service will not be provided. The kiosks are being made available primarily to give journalists ready access to the World Bank Group website (http://www.worldbank.org). and the IMF website (http://www.imf.org). The websites will have links to a joint Annual Meetings' site containing the evolving schedule of press events, as well as transcripts, news releases, and other information as it becomes available.

Interview Requests

The World Bank Media Relations Division and the IMF Media Relations Division handle requests for interviews of IMF and World Bank officials during the Meetings. However, the press offices do not service interview requests for official delegations to the Meetings. Those requests must be made directly to the delegations.

TV and Still Photo Pools

There will be brief photographic sessions at the start of ministerial meetings, which will be pooled by TV and still photographers. Estimated times for the staging of the pools are listed in the tentative schedule of events contained in this booklet. Cynthia McMahon of the World Bank Media Relations Division and Kathleen White of the IMF Media Relations Division will be organizing the press pools during the Meetings (see Contact Information for contact details). The main staging area for each pool during the IMF headquarters' portion of the Meetings will be inside the main entrance of the headquarters at 700 19th Street NW. Pools at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel will staged from the Press Room during its hours of operation at the hotel.

Camera crews and photographers must be accredited ahead of the pools. As well, crews and photographers should allow at least 10 minutes prior to each pool staging to enable security to clear their equipment at the main entrances of IMF headquarters and the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.

Though the size and composition of pools may vary, the World Bank and IMF typically limit pools to three still photographers and two cameras. Pool participants must be willing to share video feeds and photographs with other news agencies. A media advisory will also be issued in the Press Room, and faxed to media daybooks, 24 hours prior to the first pool event.


Hotel reservations cannot be made until a "Request for Press Accreditation" has been received. Where possible, journalists will be offered accommodation at the hotel of their choice. Requests should be made as soon as possible, and no later than August 27, 1999.

Official and Press Events

The Annual Meetings offer a number of official and press events that are of interest to reporters. The most important are:

The Interim Committee, known officially as the "Interim Committee of the Boards of Governors on the International Monetary System," meets on September 26.

The Committee was established in October 1974 to advise the Board of Governors of the IMF on supervising the management and adaptation of the international monetary system as well as dealing with disturbances that might threaten the system. The Committee, whose members are Governors of the IMF, Ministers, or other persons of comparable rank, reflects the composition of the IMF's Executive Board. Each member country that appoints, and each group that elects, an Executive Director, appoints a member to the Committee, which currently has 24 members. A number of international organizations, including the World Bank, participate in the Committee meeting as observers.

The Committee's members are: Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Gabon, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The Development Committee, known officially as the "Joint Ministerial Committee of the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the Fund on the Transfer of Real Resources to Developing Countries," meets on September 27.

The Committee was also established in October 1974. It consists of 24 members, generally Ministers of Finance, who are appointed to two-year terms by one of the countries, or groups of countries, that designate a member to the Bank's or the IMF's Board of Executive Directors. The Committee advises and reports to the Boards of Governors of the Bank and the IMF on all aspects of the broad question of the transfer of real resources to developing countries, and makes suggestions for their implementation.

The Committee's members are: Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Côte d'Ivoire, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Lesotho, Malaysia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. A number of international organizations participate as observers.

The Group of 24 Ministers, which is known officially as the "Intergovernmental Group of 24 on International Monetary Affairs," meets on September 25.

The Group was formed at the 1972 Lima meeting of the Group of 77 to represent the interests of the developing countries in negotiations on international monetary matters. It is not an organ of the IMF. However, the IMF provides secretariat services for the Group, whose meetings usually take place in conjunction with those of the Interim and Development Committees.

The Group comprises members from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. The Group's members are: Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela. A number of developing countries attend sessions as observers.

The Group of 10 Ministers meets on September 26.

The Group was formed in 1962 in conjunction with the establishment of the General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB), under which the Governments of nine members--Belgium, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States--and the central banks of two others--Germany and Sweden--make resources available to the IMF for drawings by participants. Under certain circumstances, the governments and central banks finance drawings by non-participants.

Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors of the Group of Seven major industrial countries generally hold a meeting in Washington, D.C., at the time of the Annual Meetings. The members are: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The press conferences of World Bank Group President James D. Wolfensohn, on September 21, and of the IMF Managing Director Michel Camdessus, on September 23, are an opportunity for journalists to ask about issues of current interest in the world economy, and the work of the World Bank Group and the IMF.

The World Economic Outlook (WEO) press conference on September 22 is led by IMF Economic Counsellor and Research Department Director Michael Mussa and is devoted to the latest issue of the WEO. Published typically twice a year, the WEO contains projections and analysis that are an integral part of the IMF's surveillance of economic developments, policies in its member countries and of the global economic system. Copies of the WEO will be available on a strict embargo basis to the press shortly before the report's scheduled release. Embargoed copies can be secured electronically by sending a formal e-mail request to William Murray (e-mail: wmurray@imf.org) of the IMF Media Relations Division. The WEO documents, together with the contents of the press conference, will be under strict embargo until 11:00 a.m. Washington time on September 22.

The 1999 Annual Meetings Program of Seminars is scheduled for September 25-28 at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The program features more than 30 sessions and is designed to provide an opportunity for key players in the fields of international business, finance, and development to examine critical issues facing the world economy. This year's program comes on the eve of the millennium and is designed to focus discussion on visions for new directions, challenges, and policy prescriptions. The program, whose theme this year is "Setting the Agenda for Global Growth and Development," is organized around the issues of International Financial Architecture, Civil Society, the Market, and the State of the Global Economy, Global Connectivity, Making the Global Economy Work for Everyone, and a series of country and regional seminars.

All seminars will be on-the-record and open to journalists registered for the Annual Meetings. Seats will be reserved for the press at each session and are available to journalists on a first-come, first-served basis. Information about the 1999 Program is available at http://www.worldbank.org/pos/.

In addition to the 1999 Program, the Bank/Fund Expo will be held from Saturday, September 25, through Wednesday, September 29, in Exhibit Hall B of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel. The 1999 Expo is an opportunity for journalists to learn about World Bank Group and IMF global development activities, and will expand on the Program of Seminar's growth and development theme. Approximately 35 kiosks will feature the latest information on World Bank and IMF products, services and partnerships.

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