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State Succession


In the course of the World Bank’s operational work, issues of succession arise in different forms.
As the World Bank (meaning either the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the International Development Association, as the case may be) enters also into agreements and contracts with non-sovereign entities, issues of succession may take the form of novation, assignment, or other arrangements whereby one debtor is substituted for another.
With respect to sovereign entities, there have numerous instances of succession to membership in the World Bank (with the consequent allocation of assets among successor States) and transfer of rights and obligations under existing Word Bank loans or guarantees. See Shihata, Matters of State Succession in the World Bank's Practice, in Mrak (ed.), Succession of States (1999), pp. 75-93; Forget, La succession d'Etats en Europe de l'est et les organisations financieres internationales: l'experience de la Banque Mondiale, in Burdeau and Stern (eds.), Dissolution, continuation et succession en Europe de l'est - Succession d'Etats et relations economiques internationales (1994), pp. 106-15.

In case of government (as opposed to state) succession, issues may arise under the Bank’s policy on de facto governments.

The Vienna Convention on Succession to Treaties, and the Vienna Convention on Succession of States in respect of State Property, Archives and Debts, are not open to international organizations. Therefore, the issue of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development or the International Development Association becoming parties to them did not even arise.


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Last updated: 2009-03-12