[mgj-discuss] Benn calls for reform of World Bank and IMF
phipco at riseup.net
Tue Mar 14 11:33:14 PST 2006
This is an interesting article from the Guardian (UK). It interesting
at least to hear a high level British politico talking about this
Benn calls for reform of World Bank and IMF
Tuesday March 14 2006
The international development secretary, Hilary Benn, has called on
Europe and the United States to relinquish their hold on the
presidencies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
In a speech to aid workers and MPs today, Mr Benn said that
international institutions, including the United Nations needed to
better reflect the current world rather than the post-1945
The development secretary questioned the US-European deal whereby an
American is in charge of one institution, currently Paul Wolfowitz, the
neo-conservative former deputy US defence secretary, is in charge at
the World Bank while a European, Rodrigo de Rato is managing director
of the IMF.
"Perhaps we should move towards a rules and merit-based process for
appointing the senior management of all the international financial
institutions," said Mr Benn.
"Is it really acceptable that the presidencies of the World Bank and
the IMF should be restricted to European and US nationals respectively,
because of a cosy deal made 60 years ago?"
He warned his audience in the Commons committee room that without the
reform other countries, particularly those in Asia and south America,
would walk away from the institutions.
Mr Benn also attacked the United Nations for waste and duplication and
demanded changes to the way the UN was managed.
He cited the examples of Vietnam, where 11 different UN agencies
administered 2% of the country's aid, and Zanzibar, where 20 separate
UN agencies operate in a country of only 1 million people.
"If we think again of what reforms would best improve the UN's role at
country level, then it would seem obvious that this must mean
implementing the principles of four ones: one UN office, one UN
representative, one programme and budget, and one funding mechanism."
"But without change at the centre this reform will be hopeless," he added
Mr Benn's speech was billed by DFID officials as a indication of
government's thinking ahead of an official development white paper
later this summer.
Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited
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