Joint media statement
Reacting to the announcement that Robert Zoellick is stepping down as World Bank President, a global coalition of campaigners has called for an open and merit-based process to elect the next World Bank leader, and for developing countries to determine the selection.
The campaigners, including Oxfam, Eurodad and the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (Afrodad), have also asked the US to announce that it will no longer seek to monopolise the Presidential position. A “gentlemen’s agreement” between Europe and the US dating back to World War II ensures that the President of the World Bank is always an American, and a European IMF Managing Director.
Elizabeth Stuart of Oxfam said: “The way the World Bank picks its president needs to change. The Bank only operates in developing countries, so any candidate not supported by a majority of these countries would plainly lack legitimacy.”
In an open letter to World Bank governors, the campaigners demanded that:
Jeroen Kwakkenbos of Eurodad said: “The next World Bank chief can’t be selected in a behind-the-scenes carve-up. The second wave of global economic crisis is almost certainly going to start hitting poor countries very hard, very soon. The World Bank needs to be geared to respond with credible, legitimate leadership in place. The US should no longer seek to monopolise this position.”
Collins Magalasi of Afrodad said: “It’s a World Bank, not a US Bank. It needs the best candidate to get the job with support of wide Bank membership, not just the US”.
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Notes to editors
The following are quotes from World Bank Development Committee communiqués:
October 2010 - “We reiterate the importance of an open, merit based and transparent process for the selection of the President of the World Bank Group.”
April 2010 - “We reiterate the importance of an open, merit-based and transparent process for the selection of the President of the World Bank Group.”
October 2008 - “There is considerable agreement on the importance of a selection process for the President of the Bank that is merit-based and transparent, with nominations open to all Board members and transparent Board consideration of all candidates”