Commenting on the appointment of Robert Zoellick to be president of the World Bank, Liberal Democrat shadow international development secretary, Lynne Featherstone MP said: “No offence to Mr Zoellick, but this is another American and another Bush appointee. The World Bank has fallen into disrepute through political appointments. It is not credible for the World Bank to preach good governance to developing nations when its own governance is based on such an outdated and patriarchal world view. The president of the World Bank should be chosen according to a transparent process on the basis of merit and qualification. It is a shame that the British government has done nothing to push for an open and meritocratic selection process for the World Bank presidency.”
The Bank’s Board has given their criteria for the next World Bank President.
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.
Nominations are open until June 15. While the Board acknowledges that the Executive Director for the United States will be making a nomination, they leave themselve open to other suggestions.
There are many good things to say about Bob Zoellick, and some things he will have to work on. Continue reading
Clearly George W. Bush has been clever with his pick of Zoellick. Lots of praise has come in from governments, senior figures in Congress and from analysts. (In the words of BusinessWeek: “It was a rare experience for George W. Bush: A major Presidential decision was greeted with bipartisan praise and international congratulations”). Although many governments say they would prefer multiple candidates to come before the board for scrutiny, it is now very unlikely that anyone will dare put up someone against Zoellick. They have until 15 June, should they wish to do so. Continue reading
One common theme among journalists I spoke with today is their frustration at getting anyone from within the Bank to say anything on Zoellick. I know people would and should be cautious, but if I had anything to do with the WB Staff Association, surely this would be a time to flex muscles, no? Continue reading
I’ve been asking colleagues in NGOs to let me know if their organisations produce statements on the Zoellick nomination. Several have, including Oxfam, Action Aid, Greenpeace, Plateforme Dette et Developement, International Rivers Network. They all raise varying degrees of complaint about the Zoellick nomination.