As US nominee Jim Yong Kim sets off on a global “listening tour” to promote his candidacy, he has declared his priorities for the Bank in an FT op-Ed. While thin on actual policy content, Kim gives strong support for “an open, inclusive World Bank” which “must give developing nations a greater voice.” He also attempts to calm the ‘anti-growth’ storm, by confirming that he recognises “that economic growth is vital to generate resources for investment in health, education and public goods.” Continue reading
The “BASIC” block of countries, including China, India, Brazil and South-Africa, representing a group of emerging economies have become a strong geopolitical force in global governance. This “political power shift” became apparent during the Copenhagen Climate Conference and has been observed as well in the vote reform within the Bretton Woods Institutions, such as the World Bank and the IMF1. While the US and Europe continue to have a strong and powerful voice within the International Finance Institutions (IFIs) and UN bodies, the BASIC countries are increasingly using their political and economic clout and influence, especially through informal alliances around UNFCCC negotiations, Major Economies Forum (MEF) and shaping of Green Climate Fund.
The world is entering a new period in global politics, where restructuring of global institutions and redesigning of political processes are taking place to incorporate the interests of emerging economies. Even the World Bank has to navigate through this new emerging dynamic, especially on issues like energy strategy, environmental and social safeguards, etc. Continue reading
An interesting recent article by Environment and Energy Publishing outlines a dilemma for environmentalists advocating for change at the World Bank. Green groups have long-called for a more democratic institution that genuinely addresses both poverty and environmental destruction in developing countries, and have often been prominent in arguing against the archaic convention that sees the US president appoint the Bank’s leader. But, on the other hand many environmentalists acknowledge that any potential candidate from the BRICs may put less of an emphasis on environmental issues than the US. Continue reading