Structure of the United Nations System - The bretton woods institutions



These institutions were created before the United Nations itself, at a conference at Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in the United States in 1944. In the UN Charter, however, they were considered to be an integral part of the system of UN agencies. However, their agreements with the UN bind them only loosely to the rest of the system. The nature of these organizations is very different from the one country, one vote basis of the UN and the other specialized agencies ( see World Bank and International Monetary Fund [IMF] in the second part of this volume). Membership in the Bretton Woods institutions is subject to financial subscription, and voting is weighted according to members' shares, effectively giving wealthy countries more control than poorer countries. When the World Bank became affiliated with the United Nations, it maintained its complete independence as far as coordination, refused to provide regular information to the UN, limited UN attendance at its meetings, and insisted on a clause eliminating any UN involvement in its budgets. While there is growing cooperation between the World Bank and some UN technical cooperation funds, like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), a 1993 study by the Joint Inspection Unit found that there was not much operational cooperation between the UN system organizations and the World Bank organizations.

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