who will be next World Bank President What will they do


NGOs worldwide demand World Bank overhaul. Global sign-on letter regarding the current scandal at the Bank demands not only Wolfowitz's resignation but fundamental reforms in the governance of the institution itself.

Global civil society organizations demand Wolfowitz resignation and broader governance overhaul

The World Bank is an institution in crisis. Recent events highlight the failures of Paul Wolfowitz's leadership and are a result of more fundamental and systemic governance flaws at the institution. The legitimacy and effectiveness of a public body depends on its ability to embrace transparency, accountability and democracy in its own decision-making.

For this reason, Paul Wolfowitz must go. The Bank faces important challenges in the coming years, including the IDA-15 replenishment process. Wolfowitz's admitted mishandling of the Riza affair, poor judgment in appointing senior staff and inability to provide effective leadership leave him ill-prepared to head the institution. The president of an international institution must be someone who can inspire confidence in staff, member governments and civil society. Paul Wolfowitz has squandered all trust that may have been invested in him.

Wolfowitz's resignation is necessary but not sufficient to address the current scandal. Meaningful governance reform requires a transparent and democratic leadership selection process open to individuals from any country. By tradition, the US currently appoints the World Bank President and Europe selects the IMF Managing Director. This is wrong.

Moreover, decision-making on the Board of Directors of the World Bank is largely in the hands of the rich world. This must change. Developing and transition countries must be given greater voice and vote in the World Bank (and in other similar multilateral institutions) in light of their rights, population and growing influence in the world today.

Finally, the Bank continues to take decisions behind closed doors. This secrecy, among other reasons, perpetuates its image as a technocratic power far removed from the reality on the ground and out of reach of ordinary citizens. This secrecy has directly contributed to the current crisis. Transparency in Board deliberations and broader stakeholder participation in Bank decision-making at all levels are essential.

The Development Committee communiqué issued on Sunday 16th April said: "The current situation is of great concern to all of us. We expect the Bank to adhere to a high standard of internal governance". We agree: the Bank needs to practice what it preaches by resolving these current structural and political failures immediately. The decision is in your hands.


Action for Economic Reforms (AER) (Philippines)
AFRODAD (African Forum and Network on Debt and Development) (Zimbabwe)
Bank Information Center (United States)
Bretton Woods Project (United Kingdom)
Center of Concern (United States)
Centro de Estudios Aplicados a los Derechos Económicos Sociales y Culturales (CEADESC) (Bolivia)
CEE Bankwatch (Czech Republic)
DebtWATCH Indonesia (Indonesia)
ECOA (Brazil)
Gender Action (United States)
International NGO Forum for Indonesian Development (INFID) (Indonesia)
MWENGO (Zimbabwe)
New Rules for Global Finance Coalition (United States)
Oil Change International (United States)
People's Alliance for Debt Cancellation (GARPU) (Indonesia)
Third World Network Africa (TWN) (Ghana)
Urgewald (Germany)
WEED (World Economy, Ecology & Development) (Germany)
Womyn's Agenda for Change (Cambodia)

Please provide an organizational sign-on if you agree with the demands and pass on to others who may also be interested. Contact the Bank Information Center to add your organization's name to the list of signatures.

Jeff Powell ~ April 27, 2007

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