One person who has doubts on the suitability of Zoellick is Nobel Prize winner and former Chief Economist of the WBG, Joseph Stiglitz. As told to La Republica and reported in The Times, Stiglitz asked the following: “Robert Zoellick defended American agricultural protectionism until the bitter end when he was responsible for commercial talks. How will he, as the future president of the World Bank, ask for the dismantling of aid to agriculture that favours developed countries at the expense of those that are poor?” Continue reading
Sarah Anderson has a piece at Foreign Policy In Focus on Zoellick’s track record of pushing a trade as counter terrorism agenda. The best line: “But is a tone-deaf, name-calling steely opportunist a good choice to lead the World Bank?”
The Editors at the Wall Street Journal continue to be the most reliable source of comic relief in this whole Wolfowitz-Zoellick episode. Today they’re warning of another World Bank “putsch” — their term for what happened to Wolfowitz — this time against Suzanne Rich Folsom from the Department of Institutional Integrity (INT). Continue reading
David Woodward of the UK thinktank new economics foundation, provides a thorough assessment of Zoellick’s time as US trade representative concluding that it is “a track record of arm-twisting, blackmail, pay-offs and abuse of power in the WTO to promote US interests at the expense of the developing world”. Continue reading
Bloomberg reports Australian treasurer Peter Costello: “Zoellick is an excellent candidate for the World Bank presidency and will be supported by Australia.” Australia joined Brazil and South Africa last week in calling for “transparent” selection process based on merit and open to citizens of all nations. “Following the completion of current processes, it is Australia’s view that the World Bank should examine the selection process for the president,” Costello said. Continue reading
Commenting on the appointment of Robert Zoellick to be president of the World Bank, Liberal Democrat shadow international development secretary, Lynne Featherstone MP said: “No offence to Mr Zoellick, but this is another American and another Bush appointee. The World Bank has fallen into disrepute through political appointments. It is not credible for the World Bank to preach good governance to developing nations when its own governance is based on such an outdated and patriarchal world view. The president of the World Bank should be chosen according to a transparent process on the basis of merit and qualification. It is a shame that the British government has done nothing to push for an open and meritocratic selection process for the World Bank presidency.”
The Bank’s Board has given their criteria for the next World Bank President.
The Board believes it is essential for the next World Bank President to have:
- a proven track record of leadership;
- experience managing large, international organizations, a familiarity with the public sector and a willingness to tackle governance reform
- a firm commitment to development;
- a commitment to and appreciation for multilateral cooperation, and
- political objectivity and independence.
Nominations are open until June 15. While the Board acknowledges that the Executive Director for the United States will be making a nomination, they leave themselve open to other suggestions.
There are many good things to say about Bob Zoellick, and some things he will have to work on. Continue reading
Clearly George W. Bush has been clever with his pick of Zoellick. Lots of praise has come in from governments, senior figures in Congress and from analysts. (In the words of BusinessWeek: “It was a rare experience for George W. Bush: A major Presidential decision was greeted with bipartisan praise and international congratulations”). Although many governments say they would prefer multiple candidates to come before the board for scrutiny, it is now very unlikely that anyone will dare put up someone against Zoellick. They have until 15 June, should they wish to do so. Continue reading