Most of the African and several of the Asian delegates at the annual combined conference of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Nairobi, walked-out during the morning session on Wednesday (26 September), when the South African Finance Minister, Dr.
GV TILT DOWN EXTERIOR Conference centre
SV Delegates arriving (3 shots)
SV Chairman calls meeting to order
SV South African Finance Minister
SV Delegates leaving as Finance Minister is speaking (4 shots)
SV Empty seats - Malaysia (2 shots)
Sv Malawi delegates in their seats
SV AND GV Empty seats Morocco and Mauritius, Mali, Egypt, Kenya, Congo, Ghana (6 shots)
SV Delegates returning after speech.
Initials AE/18.15 AE/18.39
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Background: Most of the African and several of the Asian delegates at the annual combined conference of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group in Nairobi, walked-out during the morning session on Wednesday (26 September), when the South African Finance Minister, Dr. Nicolaas Diederiche spoke.
Dr. Diederiche was the first speaker of the day, and several delegates had not arrived in their seats when he started his speech. The African delegations that were present - with the exception of Malawi and Swaziland - immediately left the conference hall.
The Asian countries that also walked out, included Nepal, Malaysia, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. About a third of the 126 delegations at the Conference appeared to be absent.
The protest had been expected since monday, when it had been discussed by the African delegations. It had been thought that Kenya, as host to the Conference, might remain in the hall, but the Kenyan delegation also left.
In his speech, Dr. Diederiche associated himself with the pride of other African countries that the conference was being held on African soil for the first time. the main bulk of his speech was taken up with criticism of the suggested plan for the reform of the world monetary system put forward by the I.M.F.'s special committee of Twenty.
As Finance Minister of the world's largest producer of gold, he particularly did not like the proposal to reduce the role of gold inn the new system. At present the gold reserves held by the central banks is officially valued at just over 42 dollars an ounce. On the free market it fetches more than a hundred dollars an ounce.
Dr. Diederiche said that the best solution for the gold problem - and one not considered by the Committee - was a substantial increase in the official price of gold.
SYNOPSIS: The annual Conference of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, being held in Nairobi, experienced its first protest demonstration on Wednesday. The demonstrators were not outside the Kenyatta conference Centre, but among the delegates inside the hall. Earlier in the week, most of the African countries had decided that they would boycott Wednesday morning's first speaker, Dr. Nicolaas Diederichs, the South African Finance Minister.
So most of them walked out as he began to speak. A statement issued by the Assistant Secretary General of the Organisation of African Unity, Mr. J. Buliro, on behalf of the African delegates, said that it would be "abnormal if member states did not show their hatred of Apartheid." They were joined in their protest by several Asian and Middle East countries, including India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Nepal, Morocco, Iraq, and Egypt. Some observers expected Kenya, the host country, to stay, but they too waked out.
Though Dr. Diederiche associated himself with the pride of other African countries over the Conference being held in Africa, the walk-out was almost total the exceptions being Malawi and Swaziland.
A third of the one-hundred-and-twenty-six delegations at the Conference appeared to be absent. Dr. Diederiche continued with his speech, apparently unperturbed.It was mainly taken up with criticism of the suggested plan for the reform of the world monetary system put forward by the I.M.F.'s special Committee of Twenty. As Finance Minister for the world's biggest gold producer, he did not like the proposal to reduce the role of gold.
When Dr. Diederiche had finished speaking, the African, Asian and Middle East delegates involved in the walk-out, returned to the conference Hall, and the meeting continued in a more normal atmosphere. They had, however, clearly demonstrated their dislike of South African Apartheid.