In an unprecedented move, the World Council of Churches (WCC) invited officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank to its Geneva headquarters for a debate on development strategy.
The WCC is known for its criticism of the international financial system and the policies of both the IMF and the World Bank.
The two-day seminar — held in mid-February — dealt with issues such as the creation of wealth, social justice and the privatization of public goods, particularly drinking water. The meeting was intended to be the first in a series.
The idea behind the gatherings was to increase understanding between the three bodies, said Rogate Mshana, who co-ordinates the WCC economic justice program. The next seminar of the three groups is expected later this year in Washington, D.C.