who will be next World Bank President What will they do


Another middle aged white American for the World Bank ! Press reports are circulating that President Bush - surprise, surprise, will pick; Robert Zoellick, another middle aged white man to head the World Bank. But does he have what it takes?. Meanwhile, and probably in responses to the press reports about Zoellick, the World Bank Board of executive directors has issued a statement.

Communication from the Executive Directors on the Selection of the President of the World Bank

May 29, 2007— There has been intense interest in the selection process for the next World Bank President, following the announcement of Mr. Wolfowitz’s resignation effective June 30, 2007. The Executive Directors have met to discuss matters related to the nomination and selection process for the next President of the World Bank.

The Executive Directors have prepared a profile of key qualities for nominees to guide the selection process. The Board believes it is essential for the next World Bank President to have:

- a proven track record of leadership;

- experience managing large, international organizations, a familiarity with the public sector and a willingness to tackle governance reform

- a firm commitment to development;

- a commitment to and appreciation for multilateral cooperation, and

- political objectivity and independence.

As the selection process gets underway, the Board expects an intensive process of formal and informal consultation with the Executive Directors on potential nominees. In addition, they noted that nominations may be made by any Executive Director of the Bank and that the Executive Director for the United States has informed them that the United States will be nominating a candidate.

The Board expects to receive nominations by no later than June 15, 2007 and to complete the process for the selection of the President of the Bank by June 30, 2007 .

A Washington source ~ May 30, 2007


Anyone who even begins to think that Zoellick might be an acceptable candidate for the World Bank Presidency should read "Behind the Scenes at the WTO" by Fatoumata Jawara and Aileen Kwa, which describes what REALLY happened in the early stages of the Doha Round of trade negotiations, based on interviews with 34 Ambassadors, negotiators and Secretariat staff members. They provide an extensive catalogue of arm-twisting, pay-offs and abuse of process by the developed countries to force developing countries to sign up to an agenda they disagreed with, while ignoring the issues they had raised. And the US, led by Zoellick as US Trade Representative, were the worst offenders - closely followed, of course, by the EU, whose delegation was Pascal Lamy, now WTO Director General.

It's also noteworthy that the "tradition" for the nationality of the WTO has been followed much less scrupulously in its 14 years of existence than that for the IMF and World Bank over the last 64 years. The agreement was that the position of Director General would alternate between developed and developing country nationals. But in practice, in its first 17 years of existence (ie to the end of Lamy's term), it will have had four DGs from the developed world and only one developing country national (Supachai Panichpakdi). When it was the South's turn for the position, Supachai and Morocco's Abu Yaoub were opposed by candidates from Canada and New Zealand; and, although Supachai had majority support, US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright intervened to "persuade" the Thai Foreign Minister that he should split his term with their preferred candidate, Michael Moore of New Zealand. Moore, of course, went first, and was therefore in post for the critical time when the Doha agenda was established. (This is all detailed in the book, too.) And when the Moore/Supachai term came to an end, it was somehow the North's turn to hold the DG position again, and Lamy was levered in.....

David Woodward ~ May 30, 2007, 08:05 AM

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