MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines is not supporting the rest of the developing world’s position to push for a new World Bank leader who comes from emerging economies.
Instead, the Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima said the United States, which is nominating former World Health Organization (WHO) official Dr. Jim Yong Kim for the multilateral lender’s top position, can be assured of the Philippines’ support.
In a letter to US Ambassador Harry Thomas Jr., Purisima said Kim’s expertise in the area of health could give the World Bank a “new focus.”
“One that connects financial and economic stability to a direct and sustainable prosperity not only to nations, but more importantly to people,” Purisima said in his letter.
“As we move toward the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, Kim’s expertise in anthropology and development will surely be an asset to the World Bank,” Purisima said.
“Mr. Kim, a development expert, has the track record to lead the agency at this time when global growth and development have become tough tasks for governments around the world,” Purisima said on Thursday, April 11.
He said the Philippines looks forward to working with Kim on the global issues of poverty and development.
Kim, a Korean, served as a former director of WHO’s Department of HIV/AIDS who led a program to treat 3 million people infected by the virus in the developing countries from 2003 to 2007.
World Bank president Robert Zoellick is stepping down by June 30. The multilateral agency is set to select its new leader.
Other nominees to the top post are Former Colombian Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo and Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo Iweala.
The Philippines, however, has strong historical and economic ties with the United States.
This is the first time in the World Bank’s near 70 year history that anyone has ran against the American nominee.
Under a mutually serving agreement, the United States and European nations have divvied up leadership of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund since the institutions were founded in the 1940s.
But with the balance of world power tipping toward the emerging economies of Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa, many developing countries are crying foul.
Yet bank watchers say there is little chance of the developing world succeeding in its efforts to take the top spot unless it unites behind one candidate. – Rappler.com