Sir Edward A.J. George
I want to focus on the prevention and handling of crises specifically affecting EMEs. This is a debate which has been going on in both official and private financial circles now for many years - certainly very intensively since the Mexican crisis of 1995. And whatever our other preoccupations, it is very important that we should not take our eye off that ball.
We have in fact made a good deal of progress - though we sometimes lose sight of that - on crisis prevention. In particular, a great deal of work has been done to produce codes of good practice on data dissemination, on the sequencing of moves towards capital account liberalisation, on transparency of monetary and fiscal policies, and on the framework of financial and supervisory policies. The IMF has played a leading role, alongside other international agencies, in developing and assessing these codes and standards.
Tangible progress has also been made on international and domestic debt and liquidity management, in the Financial Stability Forum Working Group on capital flows; on core principles for effective banking supervision, in the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision; on core principles for systemically important payment systems, in the Basel Committee on Payments and Settlement Systems; on accountancy standards, in the International Accounting Standards Committee; on auditing practices, in the International Federation of Accountants; on cross-border insolvency law, in the UN Commission on International Trade Law; and on corporate governance, in the OECD.
The emphasis now has to be on implementation by national authorities of these best practice guidelines, with the help where necessary of the international community. And although that cannot happen overnight, the emphasis must also be on transparency and validation of progress towards implementation in individual countries. Taken together, all these initiatives should contribute to greater stability at the international level. But they should also help lenders and investors to monitor compliance at the national level and to become more discriminating in their assessment of