who will be next World Bank President What will they do


CIVICUS calls for Wolfowitz to resign, and demands that the leadership selection process be fixed. Kumi Naidoo, secretary-general of CIVICUS - an international alliance of civil society organisations - has called for Wolfowitz to resign.

Quoting from Naidoo's 25 April press release:

Civil society’s views on the current leadership crisis at the World Bank has to do with both short and long term issues of legitimacy and accountability. In the short term, the issue has to do with whether or not President Wolfowitz should resign for more than one reason. First reason is he breaking of staff rules to ensure that his partner got vast salary increases. Yet a second reason to question Wolfowitz leadership is the lack of both substantive and procedural accountability of his senior appointments that lead selective attempts to push back strategies on family planning and climate change.

In the long term, the issue goes back to the fundamentally flawed governance structure of the World Bank including the appointment of its President. It just does not make ethical sense for the World Bank to preach good governance when its own governance is undemocratic and often non-transparent. Now too, it is clear that the World Bank cannot be lecturing on anti-corruption when its own head has used his power to advance a personal interest. Corruption everywhere starts with good people accepting and tolerating individual acts of corruption and making excuses for it.

If there is one good thing that can come out of the current leadership crisis of the Bank it should be this: that the new President of the World Bank should be appointed via a global search, not restricted by nationality, and not at the behest of the President of one member state of the World Bank - even if they are the major financial contributor. For this to have any substance the voting shares on the Bank’s Board must be made more equitable and the Board needs to understand that they are not there to advance the interests of the dominant financial contributors but to fulfil a global mandate, which is A WORLD FREE OF POVERTY -- a slogan so prominently displayed at the Bank’s headquarters.

Jeff Powell ~ April 26, 2007

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