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World Bank Needs Better Leadership To Achieve Goals Of Reducing Poverty

With the proper leadership, the World Bank “can play a key role” in fighting “poverty, resource depletion and climate change,” therefore “[t]he global stakes are … very high this spring as the bank’s 187 member countries choose a new president to succeed Robert Zoellick, whose term ends in July,” Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a special adviser to the U.N. secretary general on the Millennium Development Goals, writes in a Project Syndicate opinion piece. Achieving its goals to “reduce global poverty and ensure that global development is environmentally sound and socially inclusive … would not only improve the lives of billions of people, but would also forestall violent conflicts that are stoked by poverty, famine, and struggles over scarce resources,” Sachs says.

But the U.S. policy of appointing “Wall Street bankers and politicians” to lead the World Bank “is backfiring on the U.S. and badly hurting the world” because “[m]any projects have catered to U.S. corporate interests rather than to sustainable development,” Sachs writes, adding that the Bank missed opportunities to adequately address AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, as well as improve agriculture. “The Bank needs an accomplished professional who is ready to tackle the great challenges of sustainable development from day one,” Sachs concludes (2/24).