A total of 542 civil society representatives were accredited to attend the Annual Meetings this year, and 243 of these arrived in Washington, DC and attended the various events. Many of accreditation requests were from CSOs located in the developing countries who requested accreditation before deciding on whether they could attend. Over half of accredited CSO, or some 130, of those who attended the Meetings were from the United States. In order to ensure that developing country perspective and voices are present at the Annual Meetings, the World Bank and Fund sponsored participation of 25 CSO leaders from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. These CSO representatives were nominated by staff of various civil society networks, donor agency representatives, and colleagues from the Bank and Fund country offices. Funds for this sponsorship program were provided by the Worl Bank, the Fund, and the governments of Japan, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
Ahead of the 2007 Annual Meetings, the World Bank also reached out to developing country civil society representatives through a video conference discussion held on October 3, 2007. It gathered over 100 CSO representatives from six developing countries accross the globe: Angola, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Timor Leste. France represented a developed country in this debate. The virtual meeting was the first opportunity for the new World Bank President, Robert B. Zoellick to interact with civil society representatives from these countries and to exchange views on such issues as Bank governance, climate change, agriculture, post-conflict reconstruction, and how the World Bank interacts with civil society in general. Summary report and video
The Civil Society Policy Forum, which was held from October 18 – 22, comprised 31 policy sessions on a wide range of topics: agriculture, IDA replenishment, climate change, social safety nets, Africa regional integration, PRSPs, extractive industry, HIV/AIDS and fiscal policy, private-public partnerships, governance, race inequality in Latin America. The sessions were organized by the Bank or Fund units, by CSOs, or jointly. CSOs which organized sessions included: Bank Information Center, Action Aid, World Vision, Bretton Woods Project, Transparency International, Heinrich Boell Foundation, Save the Children/UK, and Glocal Forum. There were over 100 panelists comprising CSO representatives, government officials, academics, donor agency representatives, and Bank and Fund staff, including several Vice Presidents. Two of the sessions were web streamed live and can now be viewed online, and written summaries of many sessions will be posted in the coming weeks.
There was a Civil Society Townhall held between Mr. Robert Zoellick and Fund Managing Director, Rodrigo de Rato with some 80 CSO representatives. The hour-long session was chaired by Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of the Institute for Democratic Governance in Ghana, and followed by a reception. Mess. Zoellick and de Rato began the session by thanking the participants for attending, reiterating the importance of Bank / Fund - civil society dialogue, and highlighting the key policy issues to be discussed at the Annual Meetings. The issues brought up by CSOs included the Bank's forestry project in Congo DRC, disability policies, information disclosure policies, and IDA replenishment; and the Fund's civil society engagement efforts, fiscal adjustment policies, and approach to climate change. For more information please read the transcript and watch the video.
Finally, the Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP) participated formally in the Annual Meetings for the fist time. GCAP is a global movement of ordinary people which over the past two years has mobilized millions of citizens to advocate for debt relief, greater aid, and meeting of the Millennium Development Goals. GCAP activities at the Annual Meetings included displaying their poverful photos in the Civil Society Space, performance of the Poverty Requiem in Murrow Park by 250 high school students (photos and video), and a meeting with World Bank Senior Vice President for External Affairs, Marwan Muasher. World Bank staff also participated for the first time in the GCAP-sponsored “Stand Up Against Poverty” - a global mobilization held on October 17 - with events in the Bank's Ghana Office and at its headquarters.
2007 Annual Meetings - Zoellick Townhall and Video Conference
2007 Annual Meetings Civil Society Policy Forum dialogues
Survey of CSO Participants in the 2007 Annual Meetings
General Information about 2007 Annual Meetings
Annual and Spring Meetings