who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Where is everyone? Some of the European Executive Directors to the Bank I met yesterday also expressed astonishment that there was not more of a fuss about the World Bank president selection. Where are the parliamentary questions, the constant stream of letters, the pickets outside the Treasury?

I responded that with this website, various statements and similar interventions and many press articles there has been consistent pressure from outside.

But the pressure has so far failed to grow as much as I would have hoped. The peace movement largely failed to respond when Wolfowitz's name was mentioned. The Parliamentarians Network on the World Bank has not uttered a word, despite efforts to encourage it. And pickets such as the "one horse races" organised in the UK and Ireland last year have not materialised.

Overall the Directors have a good point. Lots of people claim to care about the World Bank and have yet not lifted a finger at this key political moment.

But the Directors also have a responsibility to push the Americans much more strongly and strategically to open up the process, ideally by proposing one or more serious non-US candidates. It is not sufficient for the Europeans to adopt a wait and see attitude, hoping to muster consensus to block any candidate they find beyond the pale. But of course many of the Europeans are reluctant because they want to hold onto the IMF leader appointment.

Alex Wilks ~ March 15, 2005

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