Wolfowitz Alarming as World Bank President
In the US – David Waskow, Friends of the Earth-U.S.
202 222-0716 or 202 265-1818
In Europe – Longgena Ginting, Friends of the Earth International
+31-6-15846365 (in the Netherlands)
WASHINGTON, DC — Friends of the Earth International today called the decision by the World Bank board of directors to accept U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz as the next World Bank president disappointing and alarming for people and the environment.
The world’s largest grassroots environmental federation vowed to struggle against unjust and environmentally harmful policies during his presidency.
Friends of the Earth International also criticized the undemocratic and nontransparent process used for selecting World Bank presidents, which excludes citizens and many governments from participation.
“Wolfowitz’ record demonstrates that he has almost no understanding of poverty reduction and environmental protection,” said Longgena Ginting, co-coordinator of the Friends of the Earth International campaign on International Financial Institutions.
“As U.S. ambassador to Indonesia, he also ignored many gross human rights violations practiced by the Suharto administration, like those in East Timor, Aceh and Papua. Wolfowitz was very close to Suharto, coddled corruption and made life as easy as possible for U.S. corporations, including some with terrible social and environmental records,” said Ginting, who is a past Executive Director of Friends of the Earth Indonesia, Indonesia’s largest environmental organization.
“The World Bank has a track-record plagued with harmful projects around the world, including major oil and gas projects that have damaged the environment and done nothing for poverty reduction,” said David Waskow, Director, International Program of Friends of the Earth – U.S. “Wolfowitz, who’s promoted the interests of oil corporations in Iraq and Indonesia, is the wrong person to change the course of the Bank.”