The annual conference of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund opened in Nairobi, Kenya, today (Monday, 24 September, 1973).
The annual conference of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund opened in Nairobi, Kenya, today (Monday, 24 September, 1973). It is the first time the Conference has been held in Africa, and delegates from 122 member countries heard the President of Kenya, Jomo Kenyatta, open the meeting in Nairobi's impressive Kenyatta Conference Centre.
The decision to hold the Conference in Kenya is seen as recognition that the developing countries of the world are playing an increasingly important role in international economic affairs.
The city has had to accommodate an influx of about six thousand people. They included not only the delegates, but also guests from all the major banks. During the opening session this morning, the I.M.F.'S new Managin Director, Mr. Johannes Witteveen, praised the outspokenness of his predecessor, M. Pierre-Paul Schweitzer. M. Schweitzer, he said. had done his duty without fear or favour.
President Nixon's administration successfully blocked M. Schweitzer from running for a third five-year term as head of the I.M.F. The administration had resented his public demand for a devaluation of the dollar against gold in 1971.
The I.M.F.'s Committee of Twenty is the group that has been set up to examine the plans for reforming the international monetary system, and they hold a progress meeting yesterday (Sunday). It had been hoped that this year's Conference would see major decisions taken towards establishing a more stable monetary system. But because of difference between major countries, the Committee of Twenty agreed at the meeting that they would set themselves a new deadline for reaching agreement. It gives them another ten months to resolve their difficulties.