Opposition to Wolfowitz's nomination as World Bank President
17 March 2005Jubilee Debt Campaign is among the many organisations opposing the closed and untransparent selection process for the next President of the World Bank, which has produced the controversial nomination of US Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Jubilee Debt Campaign has signed onto a joint letter from European organisations to European governments, which expresses concern that Paul Wolfowitz is not sufficiently qualified in development issues, and a fear that 'this appointment risks the Bank becoming seen as a tool of the current controversial US foreign policy, with aid flows becoming more dependent on strict adherence to US Administration priorities.' The statement also rejects 'the untransparent and undemocratic process by which one government nominates a single candidate for Bank president.' It calls on these governments to commit to an open and transparent process for this selection, and for the next head of the IMF. There is currently an unspoken agreement whereby the President of the World Bank is an American and the Director of the IMF a European: candidates from other countries, therefore including the whole of the South, are not even considered. Jubilee Debt Campaign believes that the position should be open to all qualified candidates, and that selection should be based on merit.
See www.eurodad.org for the full statement. Jubilee Debt Campaign also sent the following letter to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair: 'In light of suggestions that Paul Wolfowitz is being nominated as the next President of the World Bank, we are writing to express our concerns about the selection process. Jubilee Debt Campaign is seriously concerned by the spectacle of a process which is neither transparent nor merit-based being employed by an institution which purports to advocate good governance. A closed-door appointment to this crucial position would fly in the face of the recommendations not only of the British Government's 2000 White Paper on globalisation, but also of the Commission for Africa and innumerable other analyses on this issue. 'We oppose this appointment on the grounds that the selection has been neither transparent nor open to all potential candidates. We urge you to use your influence at the World Bank to ensure that the President of the World Bank is selected through transparent processes, which are open to all qualified candidates, from all countries, and which will result in the appointment of the most qualified candidate.'