148. Memorandum for Secretary of State Vance, Secretary of the Treasury Blumenthal, and the Director of the International Development Cooperation Agency (Ehrlich)1


  • United States Participation in Multilateral Development Banks

Reorganization Plan No. 2 of 1979,2 effective October 1, 1979, establishes the International Development Cooperation Agency (IDCA) and gives the Director of IDCA primary responsibility for establishing overall development assistance policy and coordinating United States support for international development activities. The Plan also provides that the Director shall serve as principal advisor to the President on international development matters and advisor on other matters significantly affecting the developing nations.

The President has today signed an Executive order amending Executive Order 11269 with regard to United States participation in the multilateral development banks.3 The President has directed that in carrying out your responsibilities under Executive Order 11269, the relationship among your three agencies shall be as follows:

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1. The Secretary of the Treasury will consult with the IDCA Director regarding the selection of candidates for the U.S. Executive Director and Alternate Executive Director positions. Any differences between them as to positions requiring Presidential appointment will be submitted to the President for resolution.

2. The Secretary of the Treasury will continue to instruct U.S. representatives to the MDBs. The Director shall advise both the Secretary and the U.S. representatives on development programs and policies, and on each development project of the MDBs. Given his position as principal development advisor to the President, the Director’s conclusions with respect to the developmental merits of issues before the MDBs will normally be determinative, as provided below.

The instructions issued by the Secretary of the Treasury will accord with those conclusions except in such cases as the Secretary finds that compelling financial or other nondevelopmental reasons (in other words, express legislative requirements) require a different U.S. position. Differences between the Director and the Secretary may be submitted to the President for resolution.

3. The Director will have a principal role in interagency consideration of Treasury budget proposals concerning the MDBs, including replenishments. IDCA will include MDB programs and budget matters in its comprehensive review and analysis of the foreign assistance program, and will coordinate the presentation of the MDB budget to the Congress with the presentation of other components of the aid program.

4. Nothing in this memorandum is intended to derogate from the responsibilities of the Secretary of State as to the foreign policy of the United States.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Records of the Under Secretary for Management (M), 1978–1979, Box 8, Chron May 17–24, 1979. No classification marking.
  2. See Document 146.
  3. Executive Order 12164, “Multilateral Development Institutions,” was signed by Carter on September 29. For the text of the E.O., see Public Papers: Carter, 1979, Book II, pp. 1800–1801. It amended E.O. 11269, “National Advisory Council on International Monetary and Financial Policies,” signed on February 14, 1969.