Responding to a freedom of information request, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s ‘Engaging with the Islamic World Group’ has confirmed British support for the Foundation which employed (?) Shaha Riza during her time away from the Bank. Continue reading
Returning home from the recent African Development Bank meeting in Shanghai, economist Jeffrey Sachs comments on all that “is wrong with the World Bank, even aside from Wolfowitz’s failed leadership”. Unlike the Chinese, says Sachs, “the Bank has too often forgotten the most basic lessons of development, preferring to lecture the poor and force them to privatize basic infrastructure, rather than to help the poor to invest in infrastructure and other crucial sectors”.
According to the Financial Times, Zoellick is leading the pack of contenders for the position of President of the World Bank.
Senior US administration officials expect a decision on the successor to Paul Wolfowitz, who steps down as bank president on June 30 following an ethics scandal, to be announced this week in Washington.” Continue reading
In a hearing by the House Committee on Financial Services last Tuesday about ” The Role and Effectiveness of the World Bank in Combating Global Poverty “, Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz argues for appointing an “Interim President, for the next 20 to 24 months” Continue reading
Three finance ministers who have headed the G20 — the talking shop spearheaded by the Canadians, not the maverick grouping that formed at the WTO meeting in Cancun — issued statements on Sunday calling for an open, merit-based process to choose the next WB President. Guido Mantega of Brazil and Trevor Manuel of South Africa were joined by Peter Costello of Australia — which I believe makes Australia the first “Northern” (developed/industrialized/first world) country to publicly call for the U.S. to back off.
Paul Wolfowitz has given an exclusive interview to the BBC World Service to try to explain why he is leaving the World Bank. He says the media and an overheated atmosphere were to blame, and uses his airtime to justify his record at the Bank in general and on the Riza affair. He refuses to be drawn on how his successor should be chosen but agrees that African countries are “under-represented” at the Bank. Continue reading
The Staff Association, which has emerged as the Bank’s own “civil society” has circulated Managing Director Graeme Wheeler’s strong and sensitive statement to the Bank Board’s Personnel Committee. Beyond highlighting the huge emotional cost the Wolfowitz Situation imposed on Bank staff, it hints at a few short-term changes that must be made in important personnel and policy processes. These are: the reporting relationship of the Bank’s Institutional Integrity Department, and the selection process for the next Vice President, Human Resources. Both are thought to have been captured by Wolfowitz cronies. Continue reading
Wrote the four House Chairmen in a letter to Bush, released today and reported by Reuters. According to them,“The nominee should be deeply committed to American values, but need not have an American address. The global pool of talent is deep, and we should make it clear that the United States believes that the best nominee could come from anywhere,” the Democratic congressmen said. Continue reading
In an Op-Ed article published this morning by the International Herald Tribune; Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, former Finance and Foreign Minister of Nigeria, writes in defense of the Bank and its staff. Continue reading