Oxfam Demand Fair Selection Process for Next World Bank Leader

Oxfam Australia is leading a coalition of campaigners to call for an open election for the next World Bank leader, with strong input from developing countries. The campaigners not only include Oxfam, but also Eurodad and the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (Afrodad), who hope the US will no longer monopolise the top position.

An unwritten agreement between Europe and the States ensures that the World Bank leader is always American with a European IMF Managing Director. This agreement dates back to World War II, and really needs to be changed so that the countries it affects have a real say in who is chosen to lead.

Oxfam Australia’s director of policy, James Ensor, said –

The Bank only operates in developing countries, so any candidate not supported by a majority of these countries would plainly lack legitimacy.

The coalition campaigners are hoping that World Bank governors will allow member countries the majority vote, not just a share. The selection process should also be open to anyone to apply, alongside an open voting procedure.

Jeroen Kwakkenbos of Eurodad said –

The next World Bank chief can’t be selected in a behind-the-scenes carve-up. The second wave of global economic crisis is almost certainly going to start hitting poor countries very hard, very soon. The World Bank needs to be geared to respond with credible, legitimate leadership in place. The US should no longer seek to monopolise this position.

Let’s hope that the best candidate gets the job through an open voting policy. Using old unwritten agreements from 60 years ago needs to change in line with the way the world has changed.

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