Sunday, April 22, 2007

42 Former World Bankers Call for Wolfowitz to Resign

Pressure on Paul Wolfowitz to resign continues to escalate. On Monday 42 of the World Bank's senior former executives called on him to step down in an open letter published in the FT. “There is only one way for Mr Wolfowitz to further the mission of the bank: he must resign,” the letter said.

Below is the entire text of the letter:

To the Editor of the Financial Times,

For the good of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz should resign


We are a group of ex-World Bank Group staff who occupied senior positions in the institution (MDs, Senior VPs, VPs, Directors), and write in our personal capacities. Some of us have worked under Paul Wolfowitz, some of us have not, but all of us are watching with great concern the ongoing events at the Bank because of their impact on development and the interests of the poor. At a time when fighting poverty remains crucial in building a more hopeful, more balanced, and more secure world, the World Bank must remain credible if it is to speak with the moral authority necessary to move the poverty agenda forward.

For the Bank to succeed, it must be effective, especially on matters of good governance which Mr. Wolfowitz rightly emphasized as crucial to poverty reduction. What staff objected to was not the principle -- which they applauded. Rather it was that the policy was implemented with no consultation, and little transparency or apparent consistency. Now, as a result of a process of broad consultation that he was forced to undertake by the Board, Mr. Wolfowitz has been able to forge a consensus on how to raise the bar on corruption in a practical way. It is this that can serve as a lasting legacy at the Bank.

Mr. Wolfowitz says he believes in the mission of the Bank and wishes to continue. We believe that he can no longer be an effective leader. He has lost the trust and respect of Bank staff at all levels, provoked a rift among senior managers, developed tense relations with the Board, damaged his own credibility on good governance –his flagship issue, and alienated some key shareholders at a time when their support is essential for a successful replenishment of the resources needed to help the poorest countries, especially in Africa.

We have taken note of the fact that the ministers who met last weekend in Washington took the unusual step of expressing publicly their great concern about the situation in the Bank. And staff and some of our senior colleagues within the Bank have advised Mr. Wolfowitz that the best course of action for the future of the Bank would be for him to step down. This painful, unprecedented action was not a rash conclusion. We support it and salute the courage of our colleagues. Like them, we believe this is a regrettable but essential step to prevent the Bank’s effectiveness as a development institution, and its credibility as the international community’s trustee of resources for fighting poverty, from being fatally compromised. There is only one way for Mr. Wolfowitz to further the mission of the Bank: he should resign.

Gautam Kaji, former Managing Director

Peter Woicke, former Managing Director and EVP

Shengman Zhang, former Managing Director

Roberto Danino, former senior VP and general counsel

Gary Perlin, former Senior VP and CFO

Jean-Louis Sarbib, former senior VP

Shahid Javed Burki, former VP

Cesare Calari, former VP

David de Ferranti, former VP

Ian Goldin, former VP

Ian Johnson, former VP

Geoffrey Lamb, former VP

Johannes Linn, former VP

Callisto Madavo, former VP

Gobind Nankani, former VP

Christiaan Poortman, former VP

Jean-François Rischard, former VP

Jo Ritzen, former VP

Richard Stern, former VP

John Wilton, former VP

Michael Barth, former Director

Amar Bhattacharya, former Senior Adviser

Gerard Caprio, former Director

Michael Carter, former Director

Dennis de Tray, former Director

Paula Donovan, former Director

Marisa Fernandez-Palacios, former Director

Charles Griffin, former Director

Jean-Philippe Halphen, former Director

Ann Hamilton, former Director

Paul Isenman, former Director

Homi Kharas, former Regional chief economist

Harinder Kohli, former Director

Olivier Lafourcade, former Director

Philippe Liétard, former Director

Serge Michailof, former Direector

Bernard Pasquier, former Director

Manuel Penalver Quesada, former Director

Enrique Rueda-Sabater, former Director

Alexander Shakow, former Director

Karl Voltaire, former Director

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