Reporters may contact: Meredith Dickenson
SMU News and Information
(214) 768-7654

February 23, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Francois Gianviti, general counsel of the International Monetary Fund, will speak at Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law at 9:15 a.m., Wednesday, March 7. Gianviti's topic is "The Evolving Role and Current Challenges for the IMF."

Gianviti will be one of several international finance and monetary law experts participating in a conference, March 6 and 7, organized by the law school's Institute of International Banking. The conference, which is expected to bring more than 100 attorneys and business people to the SMU campus, is titled, "International Monetary and Financial Law in the New Millennium." The conference will be in the Underwood Law Library at 6550 Hillcrest Ave.

In addition to Gianviti, Ibrahim Shihata, former general counsel for the IMF and the first director of the OPEC Fund for International Development, will speak at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 6 on the topic "The World Bank-IMF Relationship, Quo Vadis?" Thomas Baxter, general counsel of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, will speak at 9:45 a.m., Wednesday, March 7. His topic is "Recent Sovereign Debt Litigation and Its Adverse Impact on Payments Systems and Central Banks."

The IMF is a specialized agency of the United Nations created toward the end of War World II as a way to secure international monetary cooperation, stabilize exchange rates and expand international liquidity. Its headquarters are in Washington, D.C.

The conference is dedicated to the late Sir Joseph Gold, general counsel of the IMF from 1960 to 1979, who last year bequeathed more than 4,400 volumes of professional and personal papers to SMU's Underwood Law library. Sir Joseph died Feb. 22, 2000 at the age of 87. On Tuesday, March 6, the Dedman Law School will dedicate a room in the library in memory of Sir Joseph. Present at that dedication will be members of Sir Joseph's family and law school students and faculty. Sir Joseph became involved with the law school through his former student, SMU Law Professor Joseph J. Norton, the James L. Walsh Distinguished Faculty Fellow in Financial Institutions, and Beverly M. Carl, professor emerita of law. Sir Joseph often visited the law school to teach, give lectures or participate in conferences organized by the school's Institute of International Banking. In 1985 SMU honored him with an honorary doctor of laws degree.

"Sir Joseph was a pathfinding legal scholar of the postwar era. He saw international law as a means for helping to establish a better, more stable and more peaceful world order, and he worked to achieve these ends through his contributions to the IMF and to the development of international monetary law, " Norton said.

Other events planned to mark Sir Joseph's contributions to the development of monetary law are a June 1 conference in London at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), which will be co-sponsored by SMU's Institute of International Banking. The proceedings from both the SMU and the BIICL events will be published in a volume of essays by leading international scholars.

Note to Editor: Media interested in one-on-one interviews with Gianviti and others speaking at the conference may contact the SMU Office of News and Information at 214-768-7650.