Friday, February 17, 2012

Who will replace World Bank president?

Do you know in theory Asian or Non -USA sponsored person cannot be a President of World Bank.

The World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes. The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty. According to the World Bank's Articles of Agreement (As amended effective 16 February 1989) all of its decisions must be guided by a commitment to promote foreign investment, international trade and facilitate capital investment.

The World Bank comprises only two institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), whereas the latter incorporates these two in addition to three more: International Finance Corporation (IFC), Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID).

The World Bank is one of five institutions created at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944. The other financial institution is The International Monetary Fund(IMF), a related institution. Delegates from many countries attended the Bretton Woods Conference, and the most powerful countries in attendance were the United States and United Kingdom, which dominated negotiations. Although both are based in Washington, D.C.(USA), the World Bank is, by custom, headed by an American, while the IMF is led by a European.

The President of the Bank, currently Robert B. Zoellick, is responsible for chairing the meetings of the Boards of Directors and for overall management of the Bank. Traditionally, the Bank President has always been a US citizen nominated by the United States, the largest shareholder in the bank. The nominee is subject to confirmation by the Board of Executive Directors, to serve for a five-year, renewable term.

The Executive Directors, representing the Bank's member countries, make up the Board of Directors, usually meeting twice a week to oversee activities such as the approval of loans and guarantees, new policies, the administrative budget, country assistance strategies and borrowing and financing decisions.

The Vice Presidents of the Bank are its principal managers, in charge of regions, sectors, networks and functions. There are 24 Vice-Presidents, three Senior Vice Presidents and two Executive Vice Presidents.

One of the strongest criticisms of the World Bank has been the way in which it is governed. While the World Bank represents 186 countries, it is run by a small number of economically powerful countries. These countries choose the leadership and senior management of the World Bank, and so their interests dominate the bank.

Criteria to be President of World Bank

World Bank President Robert Zoellick said he will step down on 30th June 2012 and Washington pledged to name a replacement candidate within weeks for a job that has always gone to an American.

Under the Bank’s Articles, the President of the World Bank is chief of the operating staff of the Bank and conducts, under the direction of the Executive Directors, the ordinary business of the Bank. The President is also responsible for the organization, appointment and dismissal of the officers and staff, subject to the general control of the Executive Directors. The President, officers and staff of the Bank, in the discharge of their offices, owe their duty entirely to the Bank and to no other authority.

The President of the World Bank is ex officio chair of the Board of the Executive Directors of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA). The President is also ex officio chair of the Board of Directors of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the Administrative Council of the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). (source: world Bank)

In 2011, the Board of Executive Directors approved the process for selection of the President. It reconfirmed the importance of a merit-based and transparent process with all Executive Directors able to nominate and then consider all candidates
The Executive Directors agreed that candidates should meet the following criteria:

• a proven track record of leadership;
• experience of managing large organizations with international exposure, and a familiarity with the public sector;
• the ability to articulate a clear vision of the World Bank Group’s development mission;
• a firm commitment to and appreciation for multilateral cooperation; and,
• effective and diplomatic communication skills, impartiality and objectivity in the performance of the responsibilities of the position.

(source: world Bank)

Emerging market and developing countries have campaigned hard in recent years to break Europe's grip on the top position at the International Monetary Fund and the United States' hold on the presidency of the World Bank.

Officials from large emerging economies like Brazil said on Wednesday the selection process for Zoellick's successor should be based on qualifications and not nationality.

"There is no reason for the president of the World Bank to have a specific nationality," Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega told reporters in Brasilia.

The Obama administration said it would open the process to competition, marking the first time it has shown willingness to loosen its grip on the world's top development lender.

Zoellick took the reins at the Bank in 2007 after a staff revolt pushed out Paul Wolfowitz, and he moved quickly to return the institution's focus to alleviating poverty.

Developing countries have for years pressed for a greater voice in leading global financial institutions and are likely to stress the importance of a competitive process, but the United States is still widely expected to retain its hold on the job.

(source: yahoo news)

For your information in global politic, there was no democratic right. The rich and powerful determine the global games, including world financial institution.

There was a informal agreement:

Although the president is formally appointed by the bank's member nations, a decades-old agreement - which also allows major European powers to choose the head of the IMF - gives the United States the role of naming the World Bank chief.

Look at the voting power of the member countries as reported by wikipedia;

n 2010, voting powers at the World Bank were revised to increase the voice of developing countries, notably China. The countries with most voting power are now the United States (15.85%), Japan (6.84%), China (4.42%), Germany (4.00%), the United Kingdom (3.75%), France (3.75%), India (2.91%), Russia (2.77%), Saudi Arabia (2.77%) and Italy (2.64%). Under the changes, known as 'Voice Reform – Phase 2', countries other than China that saw significant gains included South Korea, Turkey, Mexico, Singapore, Greece, Brazil, India, and Spain. Most developed countries' voting power was reduced, along with a few poor countries such as Nigeria. The voting powers of the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia were unchanged.

USA has 15.85% of voting power, the largest voting power. Japan is the next country with the largest voting power, 6.84%. USA is the majority. World Bank is controlled by the largest of the donor countries – such as the United States and Japan. They own the largest share of the organization, and therefore have the most votes. Is USA the main donor country now?....

Is it democracy that the western democracy advocate nations practices all this while. How about the chances of Asian, African and South American to hold the post for the world organization? No wonder USA had been manipulated the world financial system all this while in the past.....nobody able to challenge what is their views in the global financial system....

There was discrimination in world body, where no open competition for the world financial top post, a monopoly by USA and its European allies, for IMF and World Bank top post....

Where is the human right?.....another hypocrisy of the democracy and human right advocates of western world... not the fittest person(best person) that lead the world financial institution. It must be an American or European. A mockery on the free competition, non-discrimination, anti-monopoly,human right, democracy, that they advocate....

The next President of the world bank is going to be another USA candidate, despite their dismay of the Wall Street, New York and the poor financial performance of USA....can they able to take the world financial body to the next era?....or just merely to serve their country(USA)'s financial interest, that is to solve their current financial problems... there will be conflict of interest without element of independence. How about the interest of other countries, who have suffered from their Wall Street disaster?.....

Is there fair and equal opportunity in the world body for all capable candidates from other member countries to be the President of World Bank? Is there candidates from countries with better financial performance than USA, who are better person than candidate from USA?. The best person should be the one selected by the member countries for the top job of World Bank, USA or Non-USA countries, there should not be monopoly and discrimination.

World Bank is set up to provide fund for the world's poorest countries, but due to the informal discriminatory agreement of President appointment, a non-democratic appointment, will it be that World Bank ultimately only serving the interest of rich nations? Some analysis shows that the World Bank has increased poverty and been detrimental to the environment, public health and cultural diversity. Some critics also claim that the World Bank has consistently pushed a neoliberal agenda, imposing policies on developing countries which have been damaging, destructive and anti-developmental(source: wikipedia). Because the President of World Bank will need to also serve the needs of USA's global strategy and national interest, there will be conflict of interest and lost the element of independence as a President of world financial institution. He is USA nominated President, may not be the actual person nominated by the majority, non-American member countries, especially the poor countries who their helps are urgently needed.

I was just ponder, and will USA appointed President without free competition for the best man select for the top job, lead us to another financial disaster?....

Further readings:

1. World Bank Official website,
2. World Bank President Zoellick to Step Down June 30th,,,contentMDK:23118403~pagePK:64257043~piPK:437376~theSitePK:4607,00.html
3. Selection of the President of the World Bank Group,,,contentMDK:23120984~pagePK:64257043~piPK:437376~theSitePK:4607,00.html

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