Globlisation must benefit the world’s poor: WB
World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoelick said, “It is the vision
of the World Bank Group to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable
globaliztion - to overcome poverty, enhance growth with care for the
environment, and create individual opportunity and hope”.
Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, marking his first
100 days as President of the World Bank Group, Zoellick explained that,
“Globlisation offers incredible opportunities.
Yet exclusion, grinding poverty, and environmental damage create
dangers. The ones that suffer most are those who have the least to start
with indigenous peoples, women in developing countries, the rural poor,
Africans, and their children.
In discussing how the World Bank Group can support developing
countries, Zoellick pointed out: “It is the purpose of the World Bank
Group to assist countries to help themselves by chaptalising the capital
and policies through a mix of ides and experience, development of
private market opportunities, and support for good governance and anti
corruption - spurred by our financial resources.”
“It is the purpose of the Bank Group to advance ideas about
international projects and agreements on trade, finance, health,
poverty, education, and climate change so that they can benefit all,
especially the poor seeking new opportunities”.
“Inclusive globlisation is also a matter of self-interest. Poverty
breeds instability, disease and devastation of common resources and the
environment,” he said.
Zoellick said the Bank Group should be expanding the frontiers of
thinking about policy and markets and pioneering new possibilities.
In laying out his vision for the World Bank Group, Zoellick suggested
six strategic themes:
* Helping to overcome poverty and spur sustainable growth in the
poorest countries, especially in Africa.
* Addressing the special challenges of states coming out of conflict.
* Developing a competitive menu of “development solutions” for middle
income countries, involving customized services as well as finance.
* Playing a more active role with regional and global “public goods”
on issues crossing national borders, including climate change. HIV/AIDS,
malaria, and aid for trade.
* Supporting those advancing development and opportunity in the Arab
* Fostering a “knowledge and learning” agenda across the World Bank
Group to support its role as a “brain trust’ of applied experience.
Zoellick said the Bank was also strengthening its work with countries
on good governance and anticorruption, the foundation to improving
To help the poorest countries, Zoellick announced the World Bank
Group was leading the way by pledging $3.5 billion of its own resources
to the International Development Association (IDA), which provides
grants and interest free loans for the 81 poorest countries. This is
more than double the $1.5 billion the Bank Group pledged to the prior
IDA replenishment in 2005.
Zoellick challenged the world’s developed countries to follow the
Bank’s lead and increase their support for the world’s poorest people,
especially in Africa and South and East Asia.
“I wanted all donors to know - in concrete terms - that the World
Bank Group will ‘put its money where its mouth is’ when it comes time to
boosting IDA,” he says.
“Now we need the G-8 and other developed countries to translate their
words from Summit declarations into serious numbers, too.”
As an integral player in the multilateral economic system, the Bank
Group had an important role to play in advancing an inclusive and
sustainable globalization, according to Zoellick.
“Together, we must show that multilateralism can work much more
effectively - not just in conference halls and communique - but in
villages and teeming cities, for those most in need”.