Oslo Conditionality Conference
The Norwegian government, whose aid money cannot be spent on programs that require trade liberalization and privatization, hosted an inter-governmental meeting in November to assess the extent to which the World Bank and IMF still require developing countries to pursue privatization and liberalization as a condition of support. An independent study commissioned for the meeting, determined that while the World Bank and IMF are still pushing privatization and trade liberalization in their development policy lending, it is less pervasive than in the past. It also concluded that governance conditions are increasingly taking the place of economic policy prescriptions, and that developing government “ownership” over Bank and Fund policies is still weak.
Held in Oslo, the meeting brought together Finance and Development Ministries from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, UK, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as academics and civil society groups. Canada which had agreed to participate, withdrew from the conference some days before, as did the IMF.
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