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.
Greenpeace’s Daniel Mittler states: “The US President has put loyalty ahead of merit by choosing Robert Zoellick as the new head of the World Bank. He was Bush’s trade representative from 2001-2005. In that role, he pursued free trade at all costs at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2003, he started a WTO attack on Europe’s genetic engineering restrictions. .
French coalition Plateforme Dette et Developpement is also strongly against the nomination. “The nomineed is again a pure product of the Bush administration. No more qualified on development issues than his predecessor, nor more wedded to multilateralism. He defended the US interests in the World Trade Organisation and is very is a backer of bilateral free trade agreements”.
Action Aid International’s release contains a series of quotes (can’t find link yet, but it should appear here). They include: “After Paul Wolfowitz’s resignation, the World Bank desperately needs to re-establish its credibility. The closed process leading to Mr. Zoellick’s nomination squanders an opportunity to rethink the bank’s basic governance structure,” said ActionAid USA Executive Director, Peter O’Driscoll.
International Rivers Network policy director Peter Bosshard said: “Replacing one Bush appointee with another will not resolve the fundamental governance problems of the World Bank. Member governments should reject a backdoor deal that leaves the Bank’s governance structure intact, and should press for an open, merit-based selection process.” (sent by e-mail, not visible on IRN’s website.
Oxfam Australia sets out a 6 point plan for the Bank and says: “The President should have been selected on merit, not nationality”. It leaves open the now very real possibility that Zoellick should get in as the last U.S. citizen. If he addresses the poverty priorities dear to Oxfam’s heart.