In Washington DC
Gerry Rice (202) 473-1842
Damian Milverton (202) 473-6735
WASHINGTON, March 25, 2005—As part of the ongoing selection process for the President of the World Bank, the Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank met on March 24 with the United States nominee, Dr. Paul Wolfowitz. They exchanged views on a number of strategic issues of importance to the Bank Group, including:
- Development Strategy and the Role of the Bank: discussion focused on the twin pillars of the Bank’s ongoing strategy—empowering people and the investment climate. They also discussed the link to the Millennium Development Goals, and the importance of debt sustainability, financing of infrastructure, regional balance in Bank programs, as well as the Bank’s advocacy role on development issues.
- Synergies within the Bank Group: emphasis was on how to enhance synergies among the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) in terms of programs, policies, and implementation of agreed strategies.
- Financial Sustainability of IBRD and the International Development Association (IDA): discussion touched on the financing role of the World Bank, operational products and instruments, budget, and risk management.
- Focus on Results: there was focus on issues of conditionality, harmonization, and procedural simplification as well as the question of how to ease further the burden on clients while maintaining the quality of the Bank’s operations.
- Bank Group Organization and Effectiveness: views were expressed on the need to enhance the voice and representation of developing countries in the Bank Group institutions; the high quality of staff of the Bank, the importance of preserving diversity within the institution, and the ongoing decentralization and cost-efficiency initiatives.
The Executive Directors and Dr. Wolfowitz agreed that the meeting was very useful and constructive.
The process for the selection of the President continues, and the Board of Executive Directors has agreed to meet on March 31, 2005, to make a decision, after which an announcement will be made.