The World Bank and IMF have begun their annual joint meeting in Washington, with a long list of fresh challenges facing the two organisations.
It ends on Saturday, but the meeting has already sounded a little more optimistic about the global economy.
“We remain in a period of uncertainty. This year we’re seeing slow growth in the US, Europe and Japan. But we must also note that this is the first time in several years that all three are moving in a positive direction,” said World Bank President Jim Yong Kim.
The IMF boss, underlined by her feigning surprise, indicated that the Fund was going back to its postwar roots and would encourage more than just restructuring.
“This crisis leaves behind the legacy of too little growth and too few jobs. More of our work is focusing on reforms to promote competitiveness, to create growth and jobs. Is that right? Well, this resonates of course with the first of our Articles, which embeds concern for employment in our very mandate,” said Christine Lagarde.
As we get deeper into the 21st century the two institutions must prove they are fit for purpose in a world no longer dominated by their European and American creators. Many in the developing world are waiting for proof that they are moving with the times.