Multiple NGO reactions: none favourable

I’ve been asking colleagues in NGOs to let me know if their organisations produce statements on the Zoellick nomination. Several have, including Oxfam, Action Aid, Greenpeace, Plateforme Dette et Developement, International Rivers Network. They all raise varying degrees of complaint about the Zoellick nomination.

Greenpeace’s Daniel Mittler states: “The US President has put loyalty ahead of merit by choosing Robert Zoellick as the new head of the World Bank. He was Bush’s trade representative from 2001-2005. In that role, he pursued free trade at all costs at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2003, he started a WTO attack on Europe’s genetic engineering restrictions. .

French coalition Plateforme Dette et Developpement is also strongly against the nomination. “The nomineed is again a pure product of the Bush administration. No more qualified on development issues than his predecessor, nor more wedded to multilateralism. He defended the US interests in the World Trade Organisation and is very is a backer of bilateral free trade agreements”.  

Action Aid International’s release contains a series of quotes (can’t find link yet, but it should appear here). They include: “After Paul Wolfowitz’s resignation, the World Bank desperately needs to re-establish its credibility. The closed process leading to Mr. Zoellick’s nomination squanders an opportunity to rethink the bank’s basic governance structure,” said ActionAid USA Executive Director, Peter O’Driscoll. 

International Rivers Network policy director Peter Bosshard said: “Replacing one Bush appointee with another will not resolve the fundamental governance problems of the World Bank. Member governments should reject a backdoor deal that leaves the Bank’s governance structure intact, and should press for an open, merit-based selection process.” (sent by e-mail, not visible on IRN’s website.

Oxfam Australia sets out a 6 point plan for the Bank and says: “The President should have been selected on merit, not nationality”. It leaves open the now very real possibility that Zoellick should get in as the last U.S. citizen. If he addresses the poverty priorities dear to Oxfam’s heart.

3 thoughts on “Multiple NGO reactions: none favourable

  1. According to WikiPedia, Zoellick was an advisor to the board of ENRON and part of a group called the Vulcans of which Condi Rice was a member. Why aren’t there howls of protests. This guy seems no better than that other Neo-con shill, PW. More doom ahead.

  2. I obtained this from a colleague at the World Bank. I think it is important to show what happens when someone willingly steps forward to present wrong doing at the Bank. Fair warning to all at the Bank to do so at their peril.

    For the attention of the members of the Volker Panel:

    As I pursue a willful neglect case against Human Resources because of the utterly neglectful way in which a sexual harassment case I presented (and won) against [name withheld], a senior officer at the World Bank, was handled by HR, I would like to request a meeting of representatives of the Volker Panel to bring to your attention the inappropriate management practices of the Human Resources VPU, the CRS system, and woefully inadequate Bank Rules that must reform in order to improve the Bank’s external and internal operations.

    What happened in my case would never have happened if adequate Bank rules were in place. In sum, it was proven that what [name withheld] did to me was wrong, and he was fired for what he did to me. He was successful in damaging my reputation to the extent that my attempt to find another position at the Bank outside of the [WB VPU withheld] where he and I both worked was unsuccessful. And because of HR policies and Bank rules, I have been unable to seek any form of fair and reasonable redress.

    Regarding my case, in late August 2006, Xavier Coll and Scott Kahle met Deborah Laufer, head of Mediation, prior to seeing the final INT report. Despite not even reviewing the report and the facts discovered in the investigation, they told her that I would not be reinstated or in any way be given redress because I was viewed as complicit and incompetent. For the record, I have [nearly 20] years international development experience, have written [x-number] of books and even published for the World Bank during my tenure, and now head an international organization, [name withheld]. As for being complicit, I wanted nothing but for [name withheld] to leave me alone so that I could pursue a productive career at the World Bank.

    In addition to HR determining no redress would be made without knowing the facts of the case through review of the INT report, HR also did not place [name withheld], the perpetrator in my case, on Administrative Leave when it was determined my allegations were substantive. I kept asking HR how could I work productively while [name withheld] was working three doors down from me. I was told there was nothing that could be done until finally my request to be placed on administrative leave was granted (I did not want to be placed on administrative leave but the stress of the working environment was untenable).

    HR allowed [name withheld] to continue working at the Bank despite having at least five sexual harassment and abuse of power charges presented against him over the +/- 20 years that he worked at the World Bank.

    HR denied my request to work outside of the VPU in which [name withheld], a senior official and against whom I presented charges also worked.

    HR simply told me that “jobs are competitive” at the World Bank after I applied for over 50 positions and did not short-list for but two of them – despite it being proven in my case that [name withheld], who was fired for what he did to me, told several HR colleagues about the case I presented against him. In fact, the HR official appointed to ensure “fairness” in my applications for positions at the World Bank was [name withheld]’s former manager!

    And it is important to note that I was referred by Managing Director [name withheld] to work with [name withheld] after President Wolfensohn agreed with the majority of a selection panel to head [name withheld]. VP Mohamed Muhsin [who was ultimately removed from his position for ethics violoations] did not want a young woman heading this important position. Again, HR allowed this gross violation of Bank rules to happen.

    To add insult to injury, I have been unable to resolve my case. My requests to mediate or negotiate a settlement were fruitless with the following:

    * HR – – Requests to discuss/mediate my case were denied with no reason given.

    * The President’s office – – I was referred to Juan Luis Daboub and then to Graham Wheeler’s office for mediation.

    * Managing Director Juan Luis Daboub’s Office – – I was referred to the Appeals committee.

    * Managing Director Graham Wheeler’s Office – – No response.

    * Appeals Committee – – I was told that I did not file my case in a timely fashion, thus I could not seek redress, despite being told by several that I could not file a case or request mediation or settlement until after the results of the investigation. The day I was informed of [name withheld]’s termination, I sought redress and was told that I waited too long to seek redress!

    * Mediation – – The Office of Mediation indicated that HR would not mediate with me.

    * Ombudsman – – My interaction with this office was pointless. In fact, when I found out that the Ombudsman was meeting with both [name withheld] and me, I lost all respect for the credibility of this office.

    * Institutional Integrity – – I pursued a sexual harassment case against [name withheld] and [name withheld] lost his job as a result of this investigation. Because of my inability to reach a settlement with the World Bank and because of the entirely neglectful way in which HR handled my case, I am now pursuing a willful neglect case against Human Resources. I have nothing but respect for the impartial and professional way in which my case was handled. I have completely opposite feelings as to how HR treated me.

    * Volker Panel – – I was told by HR that my name would be placed on a list when I requested a meeting of representatives from this panel. Once again, I respectfully request a meeting with members of the Volker panel.

    All along, I have said that I simply want a written apology and to be reinstated at the World Bank along with restoration of lost salary and pension. Also, I had made clear that with a PhD in public administration during which I have led organizations or large divisions of UN organizations, I seek to work on reform of World Bank rules, systems, policies, practices, and procedures because clearly the Bank rules and its CRS system (HR, in particular) are in profound need of review and revision.

    I have tried every option available to me at the World Bank and am appalled at the utter lack of response and care for my professional and personal well-being during this grueling investigation and my attempt to seek redress. In sum, there is not one mechanism at the Bank available to me to resolve this matter in a timely and fair manner. Ultimately and unfortunately, I would like to warn any woman at the World Bank – if she dares present a harassment case and even if she WINS the case, her reputation will be damaged, she could very well lose her job, and there will be absolutely no care about her well-being or professional career.

    I have been frustrated with the Bank Rules process and have been handed person to person with no schedule or plan for resolution of this matter. I therefore respectfully request a meeting with a representative of the Volker Panel so that this might be resolved in a mutually respectful way.

    Sincerely,
    [name withheld]

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