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Opinion Pieces Discuss Selection Process Of World Bank Leader, Bank’s Mission

The Guardian: Can Trump’s pick be stopped from leading the World Bank?
Larry Elliott, economics editor at the Guardian

“…Thanks to a tradition that stretches all the way back to the days when the World Bank and its sister organization, the [International Monetary Fund (IMF)], were created at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, the Americans get to choose the president of the bank and the Europeans have the right to pick the managing director of the IMF. … [But the arrangement] allows the White House — or, in the case of the IMF, European governments — to pick someone for reasons other than their suitability to do the job. … An open letter signed by more than 100 civil society organizations and published last week makes an obvious point. The vacancy at the bank comes at a time when multilateralism is in crisis. The rise of anti-establishment parties and protectionism are symptoms of a deep malaise in the global economy, the letter notes, adding: ‘The World Bank requires a leader able and willing to critically assess the role the bank can play in challenging the failed model that has led us here.’ Is [Trump’s pick for World Bank president, David Malpass,] such a leader? Clearly he isn’t … The question is whether the other big shareholders of the bank are prepared to make a stand. … This, though, [might] mean the Europeans publicly saying that they would not expect to choose who succeeds Lagarde when her second term expires in 2021…” (2/17).

The Guardian: Trump’s unseemly haste shows World Bank must no longer be in thrall to U.S.
Lucy Lamble, executive editor of the Guardian’s global development desk

“…There is a clear need for reform [in choosing the president of the World Bank]. … The one thing neither the world nor the bank needs is more of the same. Real change in its presidential recruiting practices and a fresh vision are long overdue. The coming weeks will show whether other World Bank stakeholders … will attempt to block Trump’s nominee and stand up against the traditional U.S. stranglehold. If not, the least gentlemanly and agreeable of post-war gentlemen’s agreements will stagger onwards” (2/14).

Foreign Affairs: A Battle Plan for the World Bank
David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee

“…The new [World Bank] president will face a big task. The institution’s core mission is to end extreme poverty and promote sustainable development. But the geography of poverty is changing, shifting more and more toward conflict-affected sites. [Jim Yong] Kim understood that fulfilling the bank’s mission meant tackling the consequences of war and forced displacement. It is essential that his successor continue on this path. … In an era of humanitarian retreat, the bank’s leadership understood that meeting global development goals meant addressing the effects of conflict and displacement. Whoever takes over the bank next will inherit this mission and needs to carry it forward” (2/19).