who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Who does Canada represent? As Deep Insider has reported , the Canadian representative on the World Bank board is one of the few in Wolfowitz's corner. The New York Times, in its latest articles by Steven Weisman, agrees with that assessment, saying it's Canada, the U.S., and Japan still willing to stand with him. But at the Board, Canada isn't just Canada ...

It also represents a constituency that includes Ireland and the anglophone Caribbean countries. The lead member of a constituency is supposed to consult with all the member governments it represents regarding positions at the Board. It seems unlikely that the Irish are big Wolfo supporters, and I haven't head anything about Caribbeans carrying placards for the man.

There is precedent for "mixed constituencies" (of donor and borrowing countries), inevitably chaired by a donor, taking positions to reflect the borrowers' in situations like this. Specifically, in the brouhaha over the selection of Rodrigo Rato as the IMF's Managing Director in 2004 (which I've discussed here), the constituencies led by Australia (including Pacific island nations, its WB counterpart is chaired by South Korea), Switzerland (including Central Asian nations), and, I believe, Canada, were part of the group of 11 board members taking a very unusual public position for change in the way the head of the IMF is chosen.

Shouldn't the Canadians be checking with their partners? And shouldn't those partners, reading about the position they've been put in, be placing some calls to Ottawa?

Soren Ambrose ~ May 08, 2007

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