With the dust settling after the first contested World Bank Presidential selection process, this blog will be bowing out. We hope we’ve added some transparency to a pretty intransparent process, and will definitely be back next time to demand more change, share ideas and open space for public debate.
The final word goes to the G24 group of developing countries at the World Bank. This is from the communiqué they issued last Friday:
We recognize that for the first time in the history of the World Bank there was an open process for the selection of the President that involved a debate on the priorities and the future of the institution.
Future selection processes must build on this process, but must be transparent and truly merit-based.
From Lima, Jim Kim has been gracious and forward-looking in his official statement after his appointment was announced.
Let’s hope that the owners and the World Bank’s board will not again waste five years trying to forget what they did wrong this time in the appointment process, so that progressive voices will not have to again sit out a fulsome and reasoned discussion of the candidates’ merits.
But let’s not spend the next two years whining about this process. Even a flawed process can have a good outcome.
Oxfam’s Elizabeth Stuart said: “Dr. Kim is an excellent choice for World Bank president and a true development hero. But we’ll never know if he was the best candidate for the job, because there was no true and fair competition.”
“The world deserved better than a selection process with a forgone conclusion. Poor and emerging countries are insisting the Bank be more accountable and open in how it does business. This sham process has damaged the institution, and sullied Dr. Kim’s appointment.”
The press are now running the story. Kim is the new president of the World Bank.
The situation for the many constituencies hopeful about Jim Yong Kim’s ‘election’ as World Bank president is comparable to early 2009.
Recall, Barack Obama entered a US presidency suffering institutional crisis and faced an immediate fork in the road: make the changes he promised, or sell out his constituents’ interests by bailing out Wall Street and legitimizing a renewed neoliberal attack on society and ecology, replete with undemocratic, unconstitutional practices suffused with residual militarism. As president-elect, surrounding himself with the likes of Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Paul Volcker, William Gates, Rahm Emmanuel and Hillary Clinton, it was obvious which way he would go. Continue reading