Thursday, February 23, 2012

Yunus should be able to stand for WB chief: EU delegation

Supporting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s proposal to appoint Prof Yunus as the World Bank president, a delegation of European parliament said Thursday a personality like him should be able to stand for the post. 

“The proposal is a very positive, interesting and an expression of confidence about a person of international repute for this prestigious post,” said delegation leader Jean Lambert, who represents UK’s Greens.

Addressing a pre-departure press conference after a five-day visit, she however said the EU does not have vote on the WB but the national governments have that.

Hasina, at the end of her meeting with the visiting seven-member delegation on Wednesday, asked the EU to nominate Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus as the president of the WB.

Asked whether they would pursue their respective countries' governments to forward the proposal of appointing Prof Yunus as WB chief, Lambert said she is confident that some members of her delegation would take back the proposal to their governments and some would take to European parliament to discuss the "interesting idea".

In reply to another question whether she thinks Hasina’s proposal to make Prof Yunus the WB president as a political joke, the EP delegation leaders said, "When one makes such proposal about a man of international standing for an import job cannot be joke.”

Lambert said Prof Yunus has quality of understanding about the needs of the developing countries and vast economic ideas. “Yunus is an outstanding personality in Bangladesh and also internationally.”

The EP delegation leader said 60 organisations including the Oxfam and the European parliament partly supports reforms to ensure transparency in the process of appointing the president of the World Bank.

It should not be automatically rest with the largest contributor, Lambert said, adding the time has come to rethink about the selection process and about the quality of a candidate who knows what is needed for the world’s poorest countries and has experience to offer.

She said the poor and developing countries have been saying for a long that they are not represented in a figure that would run the World Bank.

“It needs fresh thinking about who should hold this post and the EU parliament has a position on the reforms of the appointing process of the World Bank,” she added.