Wirth Statement on Wolfowitz Heading World Bank

Statement by Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the UN Foundation, On Paul H. Wolfowitz’s Approval As World Bank President

Following the unanimous vote selecting Paul Wolfowitz as the tenth president of the World Bank, Senator Timothy E. Wirth, President of the United Nations Foundation, issued the following statement:

“We look forward to working with Paul H. Wolfowitz in his new role as president of the World Bank in alleviating global poverty — an equal priority for the United Nations and the United Nations Foundation. Paul is distinguished by his intellect, energy, and untiring commitment to public service.

He assumes the presidency at a moment when the need for the World Bank’s leadership could not be greater and the challenges any less daunting. Alleviating poverty – addressing the basic needs of providing food, health care, potable water, sanitary conditions, and clean energy technologies – is key in the ability of our global community to make our world better for future generations. The World Bank, the United Nations, and the United Nations Foundation have worked closely together to bring innovative thinking, expertise, and capital to addressing the plights we know must end. I encourage him to look anew and creatively at the World Bank – tapping the expertise, experience, and perspectives of a broad range of leaders – with an eye toward improving the institution’s effectiveness. Such independent evaluation would be a significant step forward in channeling the bank’s resources effectively.

Addressing climate change through energy policies must be a major part of the poverty-alleviating efforts of the bank. Helping developing countries build production plants for non-carbon-emitting, renewable energies and the use of energy-efficient transportation vehicles are two suggestions to suggest the range of opportunities the bank could promote in fostering economic growth while addressing global climate change. Let’s explore creative, new ways to build public-private partnerships. Let’s see how we can bring our knowledge of raising and putting capital to work in countries with little experience and success in doing so. Let us share our expertise and know-how so that the learning curve for developing countries is far shorter and results can be realized more quickly.

The World Bank’s history is one of giving poor nations great reason to hope that tomorrow will be better. I look forward to working with Paul to help realize the dreams we share for a world where human potential can be realized without the burdens of poverty, ill-health, and fear.”