Americans against WB selection process

The overwhelming majority of Americans have rejected the tradition that the United States selects the president of the World Bank (WB) and demand the new head of the poverty-fighting institution be chose on a merit-based system with priority given to expe

Americans against WB selection process
The overwhelming majority of Americans have rejected the tradition that the United States selects the president of the World Bank (WB) and demand the new head of the poverty-fighting institution be chose on a merit-based system with priority given to experience and integrity, according to an online survey by an American think tank.

The online survey by the Washington-based Center for Global Development (CGD) found about 85 percent of participants disagree or strongly disagree of the current selection process in force since the establishment of the WB six decades ago.

The survey was launched on Tuesday, May 22 and is on-going. Initial results were released late on Thursday, May 24, on the CGD's website.

The poll came days after the resignation last week of Paul Wolfowitz, a former deputy US defense secretary, over an ethics scandal involving his role in a high-paying promotion for his bank-employed companion.

In an informal agreement with Europe, the United States, the bank's largest shareholder, has selected the head of the World Bank since the institution's establishment after the World War II.

Its sister organization, the International Monetary Fund, has always been led by a European.

The tradition has long been questioned by development experts and some countries who want the process to be more transparent and reflect the interests of all of the World Bank's 185 member countries.

The CGD's survey drew 350 respondents in the first 48 hours, according to the think tank.

Most of the respondents, about a third, reported that they work for universities and think tanks.

Employees of private companies and staff at the World Bank each accounted for about 17 percent of the respondents; employees of governments and non-governmental organizations each accounted for about 10 percent of respondents, and the rest of the respondents identified themselves as working for other types of organizations.

Merit-based Process

A similar number of the respondents (85%) agreed or strongly agreed with a merit-based selection process, without regard to nationality.

Among qualifications needed for the job, most respondents thought experience in banking and finance were somewhat important.

Knowledge of development issues, effective management skills, experience in international organizations, and political and diplomatic exposure were very important.

About half of respondents suggested additional but important qualifications, including honesty, integrity, economics proficiency, experience in a developing country, demonstrated leadership ability and international stature.

Among possible candidates named in the survey and which were sourced from media reports, former US Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin and Israeli central bank governor Stanley Fischer scored highest for banking and finance experience.

Kemal Dervis, a former Turkish economy minister and head of the UN Development Program, scored highest on knowledge of development issues and international organization experience.

Outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair ranked highest for political and diplomatic experience and tied with Rubin as an effective manager.

Among other names proposed by participants were former Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former US president Bill Clinton and Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner who pioneered microcredit lending.

Source: Islamonline
Last Mod: 25 Mayıs 2007, 13:23
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