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Zoellick: End of the Third World?

Julia Ross's picture

April 14, 2010 - Washington DC - World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick speaks at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC

Setting the scene for next week’s Spring Meetings, World Bank President Robert Zoellick said today the world has changed since the financial crisis, the third world is gone and we now live in a multipolar economy.

At Washington, D.C.’s Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Zoellick told an audience of diplomats, economists and international development specialists, “We are now in a new, fast-evolving, multipolar world economy, in which some developing countries are emerging as economic powers; others are moving towards becoming additional poles of growth, and some are struggling to attain their potential within this new system.”

“It is time we put old concepts of First and Third Worlds, leader and led, donor and supplicant behind us,” he said.

The speech drew several questions on the Bank’s response to the financial crisis and how it is helping developing countries adapt to the new global economy Zoellick described.

Zoellick discussed Africa’s “tremendous potential” for growth—to 2015, more than 6% average growth is anticipated—and emphasized the Bank’s commitment to telecommunications, energy and infrastructure projects there. He also cited the need for social safety nets in countries like Mexico, where conditional cash transfer projects have resulted in significant gains in maternal health.

April 14, 2010 - Washington DC - World Bank Group President Robert B. Zoellick speaks at Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC

Other important examples of the Bank’s work included initiatives to mitigate the food crisis, he said. Such projects have offered seeds and fertilizer to farmers in need, supported school lunch programs, and developed long-term drought forecasting capacity in Africa.

For more, read the full text of the speech or view the full photoset from the event.

Comments

Submitted by Yunus Lubega Butanaziba on
WORLD BANK AND UNDERDEVELOPMENT IN THE THIRD WORLD (UGANDA) 1. Missing the Solution As usual, the Bank Boss (Zoellick) has clearly and rightly stated the problem. But it is not surprising because, the founding fathers of the Bretton Woods institutions clearly know the problem they created for the Third Word since 1944. Zoellick has missed the solution again as they did in 1995. Africa's multilateral finance from the World Bank was initiated in 1946 with 120,000,000 pounds sterling on interest lending (I= PxTxR), which has since exploited any little resources in Africa. The funds were allocated to the former British Colonies and similar amount of funds were allotted to the former French colonies. This coupled with their implementation of war to access minerals, capital flights on granted loans, has ruined and still ruins the Third Word . The East Asia and Middle East example is not any better to justify the erroneous modernization of the World Bank. Also, it cannot be used to show that they have scored success in south East-Asian nations. These states grossly suffer from interest lending of the World Bank. Besides , the companies that operate in East Asia and the Middle East belong to Western states who go there for cheap labor. Apart from the communication infrastructures (roads, etc), which is in favor of Western companies, the World Bank interest lending style has damaged those states too. There was no African scholar who attended the proceedings of the World Bank at Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars (April 4, 2010), if one was there we doubt his expertise in international political economy. There was no African scholar who attended the Bretton Woods Meetings/ Conferences July 1-22, 1944 which led to the formation of the World Bank and IMF. This time we request that we manufacture the solution together. Let us all be responsible of the decision we make. 2. Way-forward (a) I think I can help, and I would like to invite the World Bank President to meet us in Uganda to discuss the problem and the way forward a viable Bretton Woods group of institutions. (b) We shall have an opportunity to state our case, and thereafter submit our recommendation to reform the failed Bretton Woods institutions (World Bank/ International Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the IMF). Their failure has since 1945 translated to failure of the third world states. Most Grateful. Yunus Lubega Butanaziba (PhD) RESEARCHER

Submitted by SEECH on
others are moving towards becoming additional poles of growth,= makes no sense and some are struggling to attain their potential within this new system.”=If you have potential you have potential if not then you don't, you won't struggle to attain potential when you have it it's not like its an item or something not very easy too lose just sounds like they are trying to mask the term third world when if you have ever been to a third world country you wil agree it's unmaskable its easy to say it shouldn't be labelled third world when its a developing nation like India but you tell that to a mother of three with no running water and electricity

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