Statement in response to nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to head World Bank

21 March 2005 by Social Justice Committee

Social Justice Committee asks Canadian government to oppose nomination of Paul Wolfowitz to presidency of World Bank

Montreal -16 March 2005 - Following today’s announcement that US Deputy
Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is the Bush administration nominee to the
presidency of the World Bank World Bank
The World Bank was founded as part of the new international monetary system set up at Bretton Woods in 1944. Its capital is provided by member states’ contributions and loans on the international money markets. It financed public and private projects in Third World and East European countries.

It consists of several closely associated institutions, among which :

1. The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD, 189 members in 2017), which provides loans in productive sectors such as farming or energy ;

2. The International Development Association (IDA, 159 members in 1997), which provides less advanced countries with long-term loans (35-40 years) at very low interest (1%) ;

3. The International Finance Corporation (IFC), which provides both loan and equity finance for business ventures in developing countries.

As Third World Debt gets worse, the World Bank (along with the IMF) tends to adopt a macro-economic perspective. For instance, it enforces adjustment policies that are intended to balance heavily indebted countries’ payments. The World Bank advises those countries that have to undergo the IMF’s therapy on such matters as how to reduce budget deficits, round up savings, enduce foreign investors to settle within their borders, or free prices and exchange rates.

, the Social Justice Committee (SJC) conveyed
its dismay to the Canadian government asking it to oppose the nomination.

The selection process for the World Bank presidency has been criticized in
recent years, particularly because the US government retains the privilege
of making the selection. The process is not transparent or based on merit,
but remains closed despite being criticized for years as undemocratic and
dismissive of the main clients of the World Bank, poor countries.

"The Wolfowitz nomination is yet another indicator of the danger the Bush
administration poses to long-term international security and the rule of
law. This nomination, and the appointment of rabid UN-hater John Bolton as
ambassador to the United Nations a week earlier, will shove these
institutions back to primitive Wild West lawlessness,
" says Derek MacCuish,
SJC coordinator.

The SJC is asking Prime Minister Paul Martin to reject the nomination and
push for the democratization of the World Bank presidency selection process.

Contact: Derek MacCuish, Coordinator
(sjc at



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