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Last Updated: Friday, 15 April, 2005, 22:52 GMT 23:52 UK
World Bank and IMF 'undemocratic'
Outgoing World Bank president James Wolfensohn (L) and IMF managing director Rodrigo de Rato
There is always lots to talk about at World Bank and IMF meetings
Finance ministers from developing countries have renewed their calls for a greater say at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Their comments came on the eve of the World Bank and IMF's 2005 spring meetings in Washington.

With finance officials from around the world in attendance, those from the G24 group of developing nations said there remained a "democratic deficit".

The G24 statement also called for action to calm global oil prices.

'Enhanced voice'

Repeating the complaint they made when they last met last year, the G24 finance ministers said "the role of small and low-income countries in the decision-making process [of the World Bank and the IMF] is extremely limited".

"Ministers stress the need for concrete actions to reduce the democratic deficit and enhance the voice and participation of developing countries in decision-making," the statement added.

The G24 also called for the US to take action to reduce America's giant trade deficit, saying the current high level increased the risk of excessive movements in global currencies.

In addition, it renewed its call for more work to be done to increase debt relief.


The G24 was established in 1971 and its members include India, Egypt, Brazil and Mexico.

Australian-born James Wolfensohn will stand down as head of the World Bank on 1 June, after 10 years in the position.

He is being replaced by Paul Wolfowitz, currently US Deputy Defence Secretary and one of the leading right-wing "neo-conservatives" in George W Bush's administration.

The appointment of Mr Wolfowitz, a firm advocate of the US-led invasion of Iraq, caused controversy when it was first announced in March.

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