The First Ten Years Growing
Pains or Inherent Flaws?
a report by environmental
defence and halifax initiative - August 2002
Restructuring the GEF
Northern countries strenuously
objected to the one country, one vote system
of governance, favouring instead the Bretton Woods system
of one dollar, one vote in which they dominate.
In addition, they refused to remove the World Bank from
its central role in the GEF or to elect a chair at each
Council as these measures put their control over the
GEF at risk.
In the end, a compromise was reached that restructured
the GEF along its present lines. Since G7-led donor
governments were holding the purse strings for the GEF
replenishment, the compromise solution agreed in 1994
continues to ensure donors control.
Governance and Operational Arrangements
The restructured GEF dropped its Pilot
Phase requirement of a minimum financial contribution
to the GEF as a pre-requisite for GEF membership. This
opened the way for universal membership in the GEF,
which now counts 173 countries. Representatives of the
member countries, known as Participants, meet every
three years as the GEF ParticipantsAssembly, a
body with the limited mandate to review general GEF
operations and no real power.
GEF decision-making and policy
development rests with the GEF Council, which meets
twice a year in Washington. The Council is composed
of 32 constituencies representing all the Participants.