The Colombian Jose Antonio Ocampo, presidential candidate of the World Bank today called for a process “transparent” and criticized not yet know the position of the candidate, the Korean-American Jim Yong Kim.
“It would be important to have a public debate. I know and the opinions of Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (third candidate), but do not know what says Dr. Kim,” Ocampo said in a conference at the Center for Global Development in U.S. capital
“The fact that no U.S. citizen can be president is a significant advance. We’ll see if we end up with the same frustration that last year the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” the former Minister of Finance of Colombia.
Ocampo, an economist and university professor, was referring to the tacit agreement that has divided the control of the WB and IMF between the U.S. and Europe, respectively, since the founding of both organizations in 1944.
Last year there was the “status quo” and was named managing director of France’s Christine Lagarde IMF, with U.S. support, against the candidacy “emerging” Central Bank President Agustin Carstens of Mexico.
Ocampo today held its meeting with the 25-member Executive Board of the World Bank, which set out its proposals should be elected president of the world body.
Recognized the role of U.S. leadership as majority shareholder, but stressed “it would be an advantage to have a non-American candidate as president to negotiate within the Executive Board.”
“So it seems she is not representing the U.S.,” he said, in calling for a new multipolar economic reality.
The Colombian economist emphasized that the World Bank should be “quick and effective” in providing the funding and knowledge, as he has lost “competitiveness” compared to other international banks and regional development.
Among his priorities, he stressed, be contained on more attention to middle-income countries, which still have large pockets of people in poverty, and insist on climate change policies.
Okonjo-Iweala, Nigeria’s Finance Minister and World Bank exsubdirectora also asked yesterday after his meeting at the headquarters of BM process “open” and urged Washington to assume its leadership breaking the informal pact with Europe.
However, despite the challenge presented by Okonjo-Iweala and Ocampo, it seems unlikely that Kim is not the future president of the WB, as the U.S. and Europe have a majority of votes in the international organization.
Tomorrow is the turn of the Korean-American Kim to the Board of the Bank, but so far no plans to conduct a public hearing as have his two opponents.
The World Bank has announced it will appoint a new president during the traditional spring meetings organized by the WB and IMF in Washington between 20 and 22 April.
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