The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is currently undoing its 16th General Review of Quotas, a process mandated in the IMF Articles of Agreement to reassess whether the Fund is adequately resourced and if the quota-system reflects the global economy. Such a review would directly impact allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), or the IMF’s international reserve asset, that proved to be a vital resource following the allocation of $650 billion worth of SDRs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fund is conducting its 16th General Review at a critical time as emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs) are facing a ‘crisis of development,’ spurred by overlapping crises of debt, climate shocks, inflation, geopolitical conflict and more. At a moment where all countries should be engaging in ambitious investment in climate resilient development, the global community risks a devastating reversal of progress on achieving the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals if the international financial architecture cannot be reformed to meet the needs of the moment.
What impact could the IMF’s 16th General Review of Quotas have on the distribution of SDRs? How should the quota system be reformed to elevate voice and representation of EMDEs? How could quota and SDR reform catalyze necessary changes to global economic governance?