www.wolfowitzresign.com May 21, 2007

"Mission (Actually) Accomplished!" We are retiring. Good luck with the search for a successor.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

News Round Up May 19, 2007: Succession, the next phase

New York Times Picking a World Bank President
Fianancial Times Editorial The World Bank After Wolfowitz
Financial Times Post-Wolfowitz planning begins
Washington Post Debate Rises On World Bank Succession
Washington Post, Sebastian Mallaby Finishing What Wolfowitz Started


Per Kurowski said...

Let us keep the eyes on the ball!

If we want good government results that have a chance of doing what is humanly good for humanity, in a shrinking world, that could only happen through more credible and better governed multinational institutions. But in this case, while rolling up or shirtsleeves to get going at it, we must also learn about how to prioritize our efforts.

Instead of beating the good guy on the head, just because he is more amenable to being beaten on the head, and start with a World Bank and that no matter Wolfowitz and some others, in relative terms, still stands out as a shining example of relative good governance in the world, we should all concentrate more on where good governance is much more lacking and much more needed, namely the United Nations.

May I humbly suggest we keep our eyes on the ball!

Per Kurowski
The Voice and Noise Foundation for International Development and Global Strategic Action


Anonymous said...

READ THE FINE PRINT: The price of the Wolfowitz face saving is the US lost big on its birthright.

The Reuters commentary strongly suggest that the process or picking a President has changed.

The telltale phrase is this one:

"U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is consulting European colleagues on a new World Bank chief but is not shopping specific names."

In the past, the US selected a candidate, and then in background, shopped the name to the Europeans and Japanese to be sure that the candidate is acceptable. Then they hold a Board meeting to annoint the leader.

However, take a look at this next comment from the Germans:

"The (German) federal government continues to support the notion that the Americans have the right of first suggestion and nomination," Steinbrueck said in response to a question."

Right of first suggestion ---- that means that Americans can suggest, but they do not DECIDE.

ie sure, make a good suggestion, but if you pick a turkey (fill-in-the-blanks, ie Karl Rove, Alberto Gonzales... etc.) the rest of the Board (read EU) will put forward their own candidate.

As for "[right of] nomination", well, ANYONE on the Board has that right.

Take this together with the ED statement about beginning the process of nominating a new President immediately, and it is flatly clear that the process has changed. Historically the Board did nothing of that sort --- it left the nominating process to the Americans.

Note that Paulson is consulting with the EU NOT about the proposed candidate(s), but the PROCESS and is NOT shopping names.

The agreement between the EU and the US must be that he can consult about the process, the credentials, etc. but not about a specific individual or individuals. If that one individual were proposed and it was rejected, the US would have used up their 'first suggestion' and it becomes a free for all.

Here is the real story:

Strip away the diplomatic codewords, read the ED's statements from the resignation, and the following picture appears.

The United States will no longer unilaterally DECIDE who the President of the World Bank will be (subject to very few limitations such as a post candidate selection consultation about the candidate prior the the decision being made public.)

The United States is entitled to the 'first suggestion', with the proviso that if it is someone unacceptable (like another Wolfowitz), it will be rejected by the Board.

If the first suggestion fails, it is a 'free for all' for any Board member to nominate a candidate. This process would be very much like any UN election process.

The EU agree (discretely) to not rub the United State's face in the dirt by making public that the US has lost its traditional right to pick the President of the World Bank.

The United States agree to ensure that PW resigned (rather than face a board vote on terminating PW which the US would have lost.)

The EU accepted giving a face saving (not really, if you read the "Parsing the statement") statement on PW's resignation in lieu of taking the PW case to a vote.

In other words, the Bush administration traded off a birthright to give a little face to PW on his way out.

Nokandu said...

Let Tony Blair succeed Wolfowitz! http://villagebrainiac.blogspot.com

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