World Bank and IMF to Singapore: Open up society

8 Sep 06

WB-IMF Press Release No. 06/193

September 7, 2006

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund have accredited nearly 500 civil society representatives from more than 45 countries to attend the 2006 Annual Meetings in Singapore, a record number. Jointly with many of these Civil Society Organizations, we have organized what promises to be a dynamic Civil Society Forum at the Annual Meetings, with more than 40 sessions planned on critical development issues.

In the interest of good governance, transparency and accountability, we urge the Government of Singapore to allow all properly accredited civil society representatives to attend our meetings. We have consistently opposed any restrictions on full participation and peaceful expression of views. Open dialogue with civil society is also important for the effective operation of our institutions.

The Singapore Government has informed us of their objection to the accreditation of a number of these civil society representatives, and has stated their intention to block those individuals’ access to the Annual Meetings. These individuals have been cleared to attend the Annual Meetings by their respective governments and we have accredited them according to our standard procedure.

We believe that all individuals who have been accredited to the Annual Meetings should be allowed to attend, consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding between the World Bank/IMF and the host government. We strongly urge the Singapore government to act swiftly and reverse their decision on entry and access to the Meetings for these representatives.