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Leaving World Bank, Zoellick Defers to Kim, IDs No Failures, Chides Basel and French Bank, Dodges on OWS

By Matthew Russell Lee

IMF / World Bank, April 19 -- As Robert Zoellick leaves the World Bank for another American, Jim Yong Kim, he says he wants to show restraint in dictating the transition, and he leaves it to the press to identify failures in his tenure.

Okay, here's just the most recent: the World Bank's inappopriate promotion of water privatization hurts the poor the Bank claims to be helping. Click here.

  Inner City Press, in the front row for Zoellick's briefing which was notably more lightly attended than that of IMF chief Christine Lagarde, wanted to ask the obvious water privatization and Sudan questions.

  But World Bank spokesman Richard Mills stuck to his comfort zone, calling on a reporter from Reuters (not the correspondent who covers the IMF) who'd loudly said, and in advance, that she wouldn't be writing about the answer to the question she asked, then correspondents from the Washington Post and the Guardian. This last asked, any failures? No, Zoellick answered, I leave that to you.

   He also left unanswered a question about growing global protests, including Occupy Wall Street. Zoellick simply proceeded as if the question had not been asked.

  To his credit, Zoellick twice said that the post-crisis Basel rules might constrict lending to poor and developing countries, and that the retrenchment of French banks from trade finance was also causing harm. He cited the US and Indian Freedom of Information laws as a model for the bank, and promoted an upcoming event on "social accountability." Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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