CSO Letter to WB President Re: Bank governance reform - August 28, 2008

August 28, 2008

Mr. Robert B. Zoellick, President
World Bank Headquarters
1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433

Dear Mr. Zoellick,

Re.: World Bank governance

That the world is at an historical crossroads is evidenced by the rise of powerful new global economies, financial crises in the US and Europe, the high prices for commodities most notably food and fuel, and the overwhelming climate change crisis. This reality has been recognized in numerous fora such as the recent Commonwealth Heads of State conference, which agreed that in the context of these global crises it is more important than ever to have ambitious reform of the international financial institutions.

Therefore we the undersigned are very concerned that the governance reform process moving ahead at the World Bank risks falling very short of the above norms. The opportunity to reform the Bank in line with the new systemic reality must not be lost.

We urge that any reform be substantial, resulting in fundamental changes that would allow the Bank to fight poverty in a far more effective, equitable and transparent manner. For this to happen there must be a true partnership between developing and developed countries.

Key to this is a commitment to parity of voice between developed, and developing and transition countries within an agreed timeframe. This would also need to be accompanied by other measures such as a transparent, merit-based election process for the president, and a consolidation of European positions on the Bank’s board.

The quota reforms voted in at the IMF earlier this year were far from adequate. We believe it is important that any notion of parallelism between the IMF quota and World Bank votes be dropped in favour of the clear recognition that the World Bank has a very different purpose from the IMF. As the World Bank/IMF 2008 Spring Meeting Development Committee Communiqué stated, the Bank’s development mandate means it is distinct in nature.

Failure to achieve this deeper, systemic reform would leave the Bank vulnerable to irrelevance in the evolving structures of global financing and policy. For this reason, we urge you to use the Bank governance reform as an opportunity to promote a vision for the Bank which conforms more closely to the dramatically changed global context than the one currently being envisaged.

Yours sincerely,

Signatory Organisations

1.    11.11.11, Belgium

2.    ActionAid International

3.    Africa Development Interchange Network, Cameroon

4.    African Forum and Network for Debt and Development, Zimbabwe

5.    Agora, Sweden

6.    Bretton Woods Project

7.    Teran-DECA Equipo Pueblo A.C./ Social Watch Mexico, Mexico

8.    Campagna per la Riforma della Banca Mondiale, Italy

9.    Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, Canada

10.    Center for the Promotion of Economic and Social Alternatives, Cameroon

11.    Christian Aid, UK

12.    CIDSE

13.    Civicus, South Africa

14.    DESDE MEXICO, Mexico

15.    Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era, Nigeria

16.    Dominican Sisters of Hope, USA

17.    Edmonds Institute, USA

18.    Elizabeth Seton Federation, USA

19.    Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW)

20.    Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh, Bangladesh

21.    Ethical Markets Media, USA

22.    European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad)

23.    Friends of the Earth Japan, Japan

24.    Food & Water Watch, USA

25.    Foro Ciudadano de Participación por la Justicia y los Derechos Humanos, Argentina

26.    Fundación País Futuro, Colombia

27.    Grassroots Empowerment Network, Nigeria

28.    Green Community organization-Indonesia, Indonesia

29.    Halifax Initiative Coalition, Canada

30.    Holy Cross International Justice Office, USA

31.    International Accountability Project, USA

32.    International Association of Educators for World Peace, Canada

33.    International Presentation Association

34.    International Association of the Sisters of the Presentation, USA

35.    International Trade Union Confederation

36.    Japan Network on Debt & Poverty, Japan

37.    JUBILEE AUSTRALIA, Australia

38.    Jubilee Debt Campaign (UK), UK

39.    Jubilee USA, USA

40.    Loretto Community, USA

41.    KEPA, Finland

42.    Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, USA

43.    Medical Mission Sisters

44.    Mercy Investment Program, USA

45.    MS-Danish Association for International Co-operation, Denmark

46.    National Service conference of the American Ethical Union at the United Nations, USA

47.    Nelayan Indonesia (SNI) / Indonesia Fisherfolk Union, Indonesia

48.    New Rules for Global Finance Coalition, USA

49.    NGO Committee on Financing for Development, USA

50.    Norwegian Church Aid, Norway

51.    Norwegian Coalition for Debt Cancellation, Norway

52.    Oil Workers Rights Protection Organization Public Union, Azerbaijan

53.    One World Trust, UK, Michael Hammer

54.    Organiser of the Forum for Stable Currencies, UK

55.    Oxfam International

56.    PA chapter of Jubilee USA Network, USA

57.    Participatory Development Initiatives, Pakistan

58.    People's Alliance for Debt Cancellation, Indonesia

59.    Presentation Justice Network, India

60.    Presentation Wexford, Ireland

61.    Quaker Peace & Social Witness Central Committee, UK

62.    Save the Children UK

63.    SEATINI, Switzerland

64.    Serikat Buruh Indonesia (SBI) / Indonesia Labor Union, Indonesia

65.    Regional Community of Detroit Charitable Trust, USA

66.    Sisters of the Presentation, San Francisco, USA

67.    Social Development Network

68.    Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiations Institute, Kenya

69.    Struggle Front of Indonesia Youth, Indonesia

70.    Suluh Muda Association in North Sumatra, Indonesia

71.    SUSTENTIA, Spain

72.    Tax Justice Network, UK

73.    The Corner House UK

74.    Transparency International Norway

75.    UNANIMA International

76.    Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province, USA

77.    VOICE, Bangladesh

78.    War on Want, UK, John Hilary

79.    WFM-Institute for Global Policy, USA

80.    World Development Movement, UK

81.    World Hunger Education Service, USA

Signatory Individuals

82.    Aaron Schneider, Assistant Professor, Tulane University, USA

83.    Agnes Sia Tamba, Programme Manager, Network Movement for Justice and Development, Sierra Leone

84.    Alan Hudson, Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute, UK

85.    Andréas Godsäter, Peace and Development Researcher, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

86.    Anselme Adegbidi, Directeur Laboratoire d'Etude sur la Pauvreté et la Performance de l'Agriculture, Benin

87.    Beatrice Edwards, International Program Director, Government Accountability Project, USA

88.    Bernadette Mac Mahon D.C., Vincentian Partnership, Ireland

89.    Bernhard G. Gunter, President, Bangladesh Development Research Center,  USA

90.    Brian A. Thomson, USA

91.    Brian MacGarry, Zimbabwe

92.    Christopher L. Pallas, London School of Economics, UK

93.    Chukwuma Obidegwu, Consultant, USA

94.    David P. Rapkin, University of Nebraska, USA

95.    Dennis Leech, Warwick University, UK

96.    Diane Hopkins, Panama

97.    Domenico Lombardi, President, The Oxford Institute for Economic Policy, UK

98.    Donald R. Sherk, Professor, SAIS, USA

99.    Edwin (Ted) M. Truman, Senior Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics, USA

100.    Frank Vogl, publisher ethicsworld.org

101.    George Thackray, UK

102.    Grainne Weld, Vincentian Partnership, Ireland

103.    Happy James Tumwebaze, International Network Coordinator, Sustainability Watch Network Project, Uganda

104.    Heather Gee, Canada

105.    Heikki Patomäki, Innovation Professor of Globalisation and Global Institutions, RMIT University, Australia

106.    Hélan Jaworski, Presidente de la Comisión de Gobierno (Dean), Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Peru

107.    Helen Conlan, USA

108.    Jacqueline Best, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa, Canada

109.    James W. Trowbridge, Senior Advisor, New Rules for Global Finance, USA

110.    Jeffrey S. Lawson, USA

111.    John Langmore, Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne, Australia

112.    John Weeks, Professor Emeritus of Development Economics, School of Oriental & African Studies, UK

113.    Jonathan Fox, Professor, University of California, USA

114.    Jonathan R. Strand, Associate Professor, University of Nevada, USA

115.    José Antonio Ocampo, Professor, Columbia University, USA

116.    Karen Joyner, Independent Consultant, USA

117.    Leon Kukkuk, Author Researcher Development Practitioner, Angola

118.    Manish Bapna, Deputy Director, World Resources Institute, USA

119.    Manuel R. Agosin, University of Chile, Chile

120.    Michael Carter, UK

121.    Michael Ward, Researcher, UK

122.    Nilton Deza Arroyo, Universidad Nacional de Cajamarca, Peru

123.    O'Seun Egghead ODEWALE, Integration and External Linkages Officer, The West African Bar Association, Nigeria

124.    Peter Burgess, Transparency and Accountability Network: Tr-Ac-Net in New York, USA

125.    Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schuldt, Universidad del Pacífico, Peru

126.    Renate Bloem, Civicus, South Africa

127.    Richard Gerster, Director, Gerster Consulting, Switzerland

128.    Robert S. Hans, Senior Managing Director, IOS Partners Inc, USA

129.    Robert Wade, Professor, London School of Economics, UK

130.    Roberto Frenkel, Senior Researcher, CEDES, Argentina

131.    Smalto B. Kabuya, Youth Tax Justice Network, Kenya

132.    Smitu Kothari, Intercultural Resources, India

133.    Stephany Griffith-Jones, Executive Director, Columbia University, USA

134.    Steven J. Klees, University of Maryland, USA

135.    Susanna Mitchell, nef fellow, new economics foundation, UK

136.    Tanweer Akram, USA

137.    Terry McKinley, Director of the Centre for Development Policy and Research, School of Oriental and African Studies, UK

138.    Uche Igwe, Civil Society Liaison Officer, NEITI, Nigeria

139.    VK Sapovadia, Professor, IIM, India

140.    Wlodzimierz Dymarski, Poznan University of Economics, Poland

141.    Zander Navarro, Institute of Development Studies, UK