Opinion Pieces Discuss Selection Process For World Bank President

Devex: Opinion: It’s time to challenge the status quo in picking the World Bank president
María José Romero, policy and advocacy manager at the European Network on Debt and Development

“…In [an open letter to the World Bank Group Board of Executive Directors], prominent academics, politicians, and civil society groups from the U.S., Latin America, Africa, Europe, and Asia call for the selection [of a new World Bank president] to be a transparent and competitive process that is open to any applicant and actively encourages candidates from the global south to apply. Given that the World Bank operates in developing countries, and has the strongest impact in the poorest of them, a majority of votes only on the basis of shares in the institution is no longer valid as a method of decision. The candidate should be also supported by a majority of member states, and a public declaration of member state preferences should raise the accountability bar. A transformative global development agenda rooted in international human rights can be reached. However, this is only possible if all countries around the world show a firm commitment to multilateralism by playing their part at the board of directors of the World Bank and nominating a candidate that stands out as the most appropriate leader for an institution with a development mandate” (2/22).

The Conversation: Why opposing the man Trump wants as head of the World Bank might just work
John J. Stremlau, visiting professor of international relations at the University of the Witwatersrand

“U.S. President Donald Trump’s nomination of his Treasury Undersecretary David Malpass to become president of the World Bank Group and CEO of the World Bank should be seen more as an opportunity than a problem by African leaders and other major borrowers. … There are four reasons why opposing Trump’s nominee may be easier than it first appears. … The first reason is that Trump may not survive in office much longer. … Secondly, reforms in nominating and appointing Bank presidents in 2011 opened up the process for the first time in 2012. … Thirdly, an important precedent was set last year when Trump’s candidate to head the Bank’s International Organisation for Migration was rejected by United Nations (U.N.) members. … The last reason that there’s hope in rejecting Malpass is that the power dynamics in the bank have changed dramatically in the last nearly 80 years. … What’s more important is that a consensus candidate is found who has the necessary skills and practical ideas for the bank to better support much needed programs in Africa and other countries. There are also huge infrastructure needs the bank can address. And it needs quick response capabilities to help countries cope with sudden natural disasters and pandemics. If a search driven by these concerns succeeds, then bank supporters can thank Trump for unwittingly encouraging their efforts” (2/20).

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