March 22, 2019
Latest News
European Union

Report: World Bank resignation to test United States

 World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim looks on during his opening press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Nov. 14,ovember 2017 (reissued Jan. 7, 2019). EPA/FILE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim looks on during his opening press conference in Kiev, Ukraine, Nov. 14,ovember 2017 (reissued Jan. 7, 2019). EPA/FILE/SERGEY DOLZHENKO

Washington, Jan 9 (efe-epa).- The United States has always chosen the president of the World Bank, however, this time it may not go that way, with the unexpected resignation of its president, Jim Yong Kim, Dow Jones Newswires said in a report made available to EFE on Wednesday

Kim's departure, announced Monday and taking effect three years before his term ends, could accelerate a divide among the world's major economies over the leadership at the world's largest development-finance institution.

Since the World Bank's creation over 70 years ago, the US has picked its president, using the appointment as a vehicle to advance American economic interests, power and development priorities around the globe.

In exchange, Europeans have selected the leader of the International Monetary Fund.

But that consensus already was fraying when Kim was picked by President Obama to run the bank in 2012.

Even prior to Kim's appointment, the bank's executive directors, who officially make the selection, had pledged to abide by an "open, merit-based and transparent selection" of the president with "all executive directors able to nominate and then consider all candidates."

The bank is owned by 189 member countries who elect a board of executive directors to govern the institution, with larger countries receiving more votes.

The US has the bank's largest voting stake at about 16 percent; it is the only country with voting shares above the 15 percent threshold that allows for a veto on many decisions.

In 2012, for the first time in World Bank history, two challengers to Kim were also considered: Nigerian finance minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and former Colombian finance minister Jose Antonio Ocampo.

National governments are closely involved in instructing their directors on how to vote, and the Obama administration waged an extensive charm offensive to get Kim across the finish line.

"I left that process convinced that when this came up in the future there were no guarantees the American candidate would prevail, no matter who was in the White House," said Scott Morris, a fellow at the Center for Global Development who was the Treasury Department's deputy assistant secretary responsible for World Bank issues when Kim was appointed.

Many nations still felt that Kim, who was born in South Korea but raised in the US, was presented as an American fait accompli, not the result of an open process.

The Treasury didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about whether it would prioritize having an American as the next leader.

A range of issues could make it difficult for the rest of the world to support a candidate picked by the Trump administration.

Most countries have strongly backed the World Bank's work on projects related to climate change; President Trump withdrew the US from the Paris climate accord.

And most World Bank countries remain committed to multilateral financial institutions, but the Trump administration has advanced an "America First" agenda and is critical of multilateral institutions.

"The World Bank has not been a great priority of the Trump administration," said Paul Cadario, a fellow at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs. "The Treasury Department is largely furloughed at the moment. The US doesn't have an executive director at the World Bank. This is maybe not high on the Trump administration's priorities."

The lack of an executive director also leaves it somewhat unclear what US priorities for the World Bank might look like.

In addition to tensions over climate change and multilateralism, the Treasury has criticized the World Bank for having too-generous salaries and lending too much to China.

Nevertheless, the Treasury agreed earlier in the year to back a $13 billion funding increase for the institution.

Kim's resignation was unexpected, so little planning for his replacement was underway.

The administration is focused on larger issues such as declines in the financial markets, trade negotiations with China, the government shutdown and the president's desire for Congress to pay for a wall at the US-Mexico border.

Kim will join Global Infrastructure Partners, a New York-based fund manager, where he will be a partner and vice chairman.

He will depart the bank Feb. 1, and face a one-year period before he can work with the institution on infrastructure projects, according to a World Bank official.

At a meeting with World Bank staff on Tuesday, he portrayed his decision to leave as being motivated simply by having a compelling offer on the table.

He said he felt comfortable departing because he believed the bank was in good hands, according to two World Bank staff members present at the meeting.

His interim successor will be Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian national, whom Kim appointed to be the bank's chief executive officer beginning in early 2017.

Georgieva, who has been responsible for running much of the bank's day-to-day operations, was previously a vice president at the European Union responsible for its budget.

By Josh Zumbrun

News history
Chinese President in Italy to boost commercial ties via Silk Road initiative

Rome, Mar 22 (efe-epa).- The Chinese president met his Italian counterpart on Friday to boost commercial ties with an infrastructure and development...

Spanish soccer league La Liga signs anti racism collaboration

Cairo, Mar 21 (efe-epa).- La Liga has paired up with the United Nations migration agency in Egypt Thursday to help combat racism.

Anne Imhof's "Sex" performance previews at Tate Modern in London

London, Mar 21 (efe-epa).- German artist Anne Imhof on Thursday previewed "Sex," the first chapter of a live performance art trilogy commissioned by the...

The guitolão: a rare Portuguese string instrument of which only 3 exist

By Carlos García

Bardot, denunciada por insultos racistas hacia los habitantes de La Reunión

Paris, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- Former French film star Brigitte Bardot was accused of racism Wednesday over remarks about the people of Réunion Island in a...

British Museum previews Munch's haunting "The Scream" ahead of UK show

London, March 20 (efe-eap).- The British Museum in London on Wednesday previewed an Edvard Munch lithograph print of his iconic "The Scream" series as...

Google fined 1.5bn euro by European Commision over advertising

Brussels, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- American technology giant Google was fined 1.49 billion euro ($1.7 billion) Wednesday by the European Commission for blocking...

Rome Assembly president arrested on alleged corruption charges in Italy

Rome, March 20 (efe-epa).- The president of Rome's City Council, a member of the Five Star Movement which rules in coalition with the far-right Lega party,...

Dear Donald: UK's May pens letter to EU in search of short Brexit delay

London, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's prime minister has on Wednesday written to the European Union to ask for an extension to the Brexit...

President Donald Trump embraces closer ties with Brazil

Washington, Mar 20 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said he intended to designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally, a move that would deepen the US's...

French expert: Chantilly naked Mona Lisa sketch drafted in da Vinci's studio

Chantilly, France, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- Leonardo Da Vinci's left-handedness was the key to attributing a charcoal sketch known as Mona Lisa's naked sister to...

Man honing knife on Spanish metro in video that went viral was ham cutter

Madrid, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- A man seen sharpening a large knife on the Madrid metro in a video that went viral online was a professional ham cutter going to...

Dublin, Brussels await London's proposals for next moves on Brexit

Dublin, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- The government of the Republic of Ireland and the president of the European Council agreed Tuesday that the next step in the...

Pope rejects resignation of French cardinal convicted of child abuse cover up

Paris, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- A top French cardinal convicted of covering up allegations of child sex abuse by a priest said Tuesday that the Pope has rejected...

German minister says country exhausted by Brexit, urges UK clarifications

Brussels, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- Germany has been exhausted by Brexit negotiations and has urged the United Kingdom to clarify whether it wanted to delay its...

Order, order: what power does the speaker of UK parliament have?

London, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's prime minister and her cabinet were on Tuesday gathered together to study the next step in the Brexit...

Japan's Olympic chief, focus of bribery probe, to step down

Tokyo, Mar 19 (efe-epa).- The president of the Japanese Olympic Committee said he would step down, two months after French authorities said they were...

Holding back the past, Brexit threatens to open old wounds along Irish border

Derry/Londonderry (Northern Ireland), Mar 19 (efe-epa).- On maps of Ireland, a line cuts across the north of the island like a scar, dividing Northern...

Algerian turmoil threatens deals

Madrid, Mar 19 (EFE).- A contentious political transition in Algeria is creating uncertainty around a number of foreign investment deals in Africa's largest...

Dutch police arrest 2 after deadly shooting

Utrecht, Netherlands, Mar 18 (efe-epa).- The suspected shooter and a second person are in custody after three people were killed and five others wounded...

Trial of man linked to killing that sparked far-right riots in Germany begins

Berlin, Mar 18 (efe-epa).- A Syrian man went on trial Monday over an alleged knife killing that triggered racist street riots the eastern German city of...

Speaker of United Kingdom's House of Commons: no third vote on Brexit deal

London (efe-epa).- The Speaker of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons has Monday blocked a third vote on the same Brexit deal.

Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank shares rise on merger talks

Frankfurt, Mar 18 (efe-epa).- Shares in Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG rose Monday after the German banks said that they had entered formal merger...

UN: Israel's abuse of Palestinian resources is a human rights violation

Geneva, Mar 18 (efe-epa).- The United Nations denounced Israel's ongoing exploitation of Palestinian natural resources and its use of force during protests...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.