who will be next World Bank President What will they do


World Bank Country Directors Weigh in on Wolfowitz. Now that the ad hoc committee has reported, most (but not all) of the Bank's Country Directors have asked the Board to get on with it. The following letter was sent today by 37 Country Directors to the Dean of the World Bank board and the World Bank president.

Eckhard Karl Deutscher, Dean of the Executive Board
Paul D. Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank

May 14, 2007

As World Bank Country Directors we are acutely aware that the Board, management and staff of the Bank face an internal crisis that has damaged our reputation and jeopardizes our effectiveness as a development institution. Bank colleagues working on governance and anti-corruption and in the Independent Evaluation Group have shared their serious concerns, and we echo them. If we do not maintain high standards of integrity ourselves, we cannot speak effectively on the governance issues that lie at the heart of our development mandate.

This crisis goes beyond the governance and anti-corruption agenda and affects our ability to deliver across the entire development spectrum. Our country programs are built on trust, mutual respect and partnership. These assets will be compromised unless this episode is brought to a swift and satisfactory conclusion. If donors are not convinced that the institution and its top officials merit their full support, future IDA funding may be endangered--at great cost to our ability to assist low-income countries, particularly in Africa. The Bank must practice what it preaches on governance and accountability for us to be credible in our partner countries.

These are strong assertions, and we do not make them lightly. They are based on numerous interactions with our clients in recent weeks. In country after country, government counterparts, civil society, international development agencies, the private sector, parliamentarians and the media are waiting to see how the Bank will resolve its problems. We respect our Board's deliberations and see the Bank's commitment to a process that follows sound ethical and governance principles as a major strength. We also look forward to an outcome consistent with the standards we advocate to others, and believe that a credible resolution will enable the Bank to emerge with its reputation enhanced. Failure to act credibly, on the other hand, risks both the reputation and the mission of the institution. We therefore call on the Board and the President to resolve the crisis quickly in a way that demonstrates the Bank's commitment to the highest standards of integrity and accountability.

This message is signed by 37 of the Bank's Country Directors, working in all regions of the world. We refrained from expressing our views while the ad hoc committee of the Board was pursuing its investigation. Now that it has submitted its report, we encourage the Board to act quickly to resolve the issue.


Theodore Ahlers, Country Director, Algeria, Libya, Malto, Morocco, Tunisia
Pedro Alba, Country Director, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Rwanda
Caroline Anstey, Country Director, the Caribbean
Jane Armitage, Country Director, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama
Michael Baxter, Country Director, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Paul Bermingham, Country Director, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine
James Bond, Country Director, Benin, Cote d?Ivoire, Mali, Mauritania, Togo
Colin Bruce, Country Director, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia
David Craig, Country Director, West Bank and Gaza
Yusupha Crookes, Country Director, Pakistan
Ishac Diwan, Country Director, Ethiopia, Sudan
Annette Dixon, Country Director, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan,Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
David Dollar, Country Director, China, Mongolia
Donna Dowsett-Coirolo, Country Director, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
Hafez Ghanem, Country Director, Nigeria
Marcelo Giugale, Country Director, Bolivia, Ecuador, Perú, Venezuela
Susan Goldmark, Country Director designate, Nepal (from July 1)
Isabel Guerrero, Country Director, India
Carlos Felipe Jaramillo, Country Director designate, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela (from July 1)
Orsalia Kalantzopoulos, Country Director, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo,Macedonia, Serbia & Montenegro
Mats Karlsson, Country Director, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone
Emmanuel Mbi, Country Director, Djibouti, Egypt, Yemen
Alastair McKechnie, Afghanistan, Bhutan, Maldives
Judy O'Connor, Country Director, Tanzania, Uganda
Kenichi Ohashi, Country Director, Nepal
Ian Porter, Country Director, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand
Hossein Razavi, Country Director, Gulf States TA Program
Ritva Reinikka, Country Director, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland
Klaus Rohland, Country Director, Russian Federation
Nigel Roberts, Country Director, Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, the Pacific Islands
Joseph Saba, Country Director, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria
Madani Tall, Country Director, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Senegal
Mark Tomlinson, Director, Africa Regional Integration
Axel van Trotsenburg, Country Director, Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay
Joachim von Amsberg, Country Director, Philippines
Zhu Xian, Country Director, Bangladesh
Ulrich Zachau, Country Director, Cyprus, Turkey

Voice of Reason ~ May 15, 2007

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