D. Speeches by Paul Wolfowitz (2005-07)

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Paul Wolfowitz served as 10th President of the World Bank Group from 2005 to 2007.

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  • Publication
    Africa: The Road to Opportunity
    (2006-10-18) Wolfowitz, Paul
    Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, remarked that the past-quarter century has to count as the most successful 25 years in history in the fight against poverty. The one region that has so far been conspicuously left behind by that progress is Sub-Saharan Africa. The people of Africa are hard at work building a more hopeful future for their continent. There is no shortage of energy, ambition, or entrepreneurial spirit. What are most severely lacking are resources to support good plans and good ideas. For Africa and the poorest countries in the world a critical source of development funding comes from the International Development Association or IDA. France has been a leader in IDA in the past. The World Bank has responded with an ‘Africa Action Plan.’ Wolfowitz briefly discussed four key areas of focus: Education, Health, Private Sector Development, and Infrastructure.
  • Publication
    Parliaments and Poverty in Africa
    (2006-10-17) Wolfowitz, Paul
    Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, reminded participants that it is important to remember the more than 1 billion people worldwide struggling to survive on less than $1 a day. Fighting the scourge of poverty is at the heart of the World Bank Group’s mission. The burden of debt and the disease of corruption threaten to undermine the efforts to meet the Millennium Development Goals. Many regions of the world have made significant progress to improve living standards and reduce poverty. Sub-Saharan Africa is moving dangerously in the opposite direction. Africa’s richest resource, and its best hope, is its people. But more development financing and debt relief is needed. In the long run, neither aid nor debt relief will help the poor escape poverty without a transparent and accountable government. We are seeing an informed African citizenry demanding change. The World Bank Group is committed to supporting champions of reform in both government and civil society. Partnering with parliaments from donor countries is as important as working with parliaments in recipient countries. To achieve true prosperity for our integrated planet, we must work together to help give the poorest among us the chance to find their way out of poverty.
  • Publication
    Development is a Two-Wheeled Cart
    (2006-02-16) Wolfowitz, Paul
    Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, remarked that the Gender Equality Millennium Development Goal is a central component of our overall mission of fighting poverty and empowering women in their education and opportunity for a better future. Gender equality is more than a women’s issue, it is a development issue. If one of the wheels of the cart isn’t moving, the cart won’t go very far. We have already missing the 2005 target to eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education. Trends in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa put us in danger of missing the 2015 target. We must bring more women into the labor force and into higher-paid occupations. The Bank has made significant progress on gender mainstreaming in social sectors like education and health, but more must be done to support shared growth in such areas as infrastructure, energy, and transport.
  • Publication
    Cities at the Front Lines of Development
    (2006-02-09) Wolfowitz, Paul
    Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, stated that the importance of cities is increasing on a daily basis. By 2030, China alone will add 342 million new urban residents, and India 271 million. Africa will add 395 million people and more than half (54 percent) of its population will be living in urban areas. Urbanization creates job opportunities and poverty challenges. Urbanization has place mayors on center stage to implement solutions to alleviate poverty at the local level. The World Bank established a dedicated urban unit more than 30 years ago, with estimated lending on urban issues in 2005 at $7 billion. The Bank looks forward to strengthening partnerships with local governments.
  • Publication
    China a Model Country
    (2005-10-14) Wolfowitz, Paul
    Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, noted that China has shown astonishing resolve in the last 25 years in fighting poverty, with remarkable progress to show for it. With similar resolve, China can successfully work with the Bank and with other partners to overcome the remaining development challenges it faces today: battling continued poverty, confronting environmental decline, and lowering barriers to global trade. He commented that the upcoming meeting of the G-20 presents a vital opportunity for China and the international community to redress the imbalances in the global economy, to create a more stable and equitable world for future generations. It is the first time that China is hosting this meeting of the G-20-and this is appropriate evidence of China's growing role as a major force in the global economy. The decisions at that meeting can make a difference for the world's poor--between a life of deprivation and suffering or a future with dignity and opportunity.
  • Publication
    Japan’s Role in Africa
    (2005-10-11) Wolfowitz, Paul
    Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, discussed how Japan’s success is an inspirational example for developing countries. Now, Japan is the second largest shareholder in the World Bank and a valued partner. Today the world is challenged to help the poor countries achieve the millennium development goals and that Japan and the World Bank have a common set of priorities in that endeavor. The Hong Kong round of the Doha development trade round is a big challenge ahead. The relationship between Japan and the World Bank is one of the most critical ones.
  • Publication
    Charting a Way Ahead: The Results Agenda
    (2005-09-24) Wolfowitz, Paul
    Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, makes the case for ending poverty in our lifetime, especially in Africa. There is an urgent need for action, because thousands of people living in extreme poverty, many of them children, die every day from preventable diseases. The call to end poverty reaches across generations, continents, and nationalities. It spans religions, gender, and politics. Wolfowitz claims that the world is at a turning point, with grounds for hope. The last few decades have witnessed dramatic improvement in the condition of the world's poorest people. He cites as key factors leadership and accountability, respect for women, civil society, the private sector, and legal empowerment of the poor. He concludes that in order to find solutions for alleviating poverty, the World Bank needs to strengthen its knowledge and expertise in such areas as education, health, infrastructure, energy and sustainable development, and agriculture. We must chart a course for a future in which today's poor become tomorrow's entrepreneurs.
  • Publication
    Delivering the Vision of the Millennium Development Goals
    (2005-09-14) Wolfowitz, Paul
    Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, remarked that the millennium development goals (MDGs) created a metric of accountability for which humanity will hold the World Bank answerable. It also created a vital tool for measuring progress. The MDGs call for developing countries to improve performance and developed countries to fulfill their promise to increase aid. It is time to dismantle trade barriers and ending subsidies that hurt farmers and small businesses. The MDGs require strengthening the private sector and encouraging a vibrant civil society in developing countries. He related the story of Beatrice Gakuba’s efforts to create jobs for rural women. The World Bank is developing an Africa action plan with 25 initiatives to improve education, roads and power, with measurable goals.
  • Publication
    Africa: Whatever You Thought, Think Again
    (2005-09-08) Wolfowitz, Paul; Fay, Michael; Leautier, Frannie; Gomes, Paulo
    Paul Wolfowitz, President of the World Bank, congratulated the editorial team of National Geographic for the special issue on Africa. National Geographic has played a unique role in broadening the knowledge of the world. The World Bank partnered with National Geographic to produce a full-color wall map to raise awareness of the millennium development goals (MDGs) and to highlight each country's progress. We often hear about an Africa that is ravaged by poverty, disease and conflict. There is another face to Africa, one of hope, ambition, energy, intelligence and achievement. That face is also captured compellingly in this issue. Africa’s future holds rich opportunities. To seize these opportunities, there are many challenges to overcome. Given the enormous scale of this challenge, we need to come to terms with what we can and cannot achieve with the MDGs. The World Bank is working with countries that request help to strengthen legislation and institutions so they can take charge of combating corruption. Africa's transformation will depend on the commitment of the international community and the resolve of Africa's people and leaders. Michael Fay, National Geographic Explorer in Residence, spoke of his travels in Africa and said that there is a very direct relationship in particular in the African continent, but indeed everywhere on earth, between the management of the natural resource base and poverty alleviation, the wellbeing of humanity. Frannie Leautier, of the World Bank Institute, said countries working together can reach solutions that are much better than when they work individually. She noted the need to balance between human life and other life forms, with the forests, animals and so on. Paulo Gomes, of the World Bank Board of Directors, said the issue was very rich in presenting the ecological dimension of the diversity of Africa. The Bank needs to do something in preparing a comprehensive strategy to rebrand Africa in a more positive light. Africa has a formidable reservoir of variety in fauna and flora that can be used for science and the good of the continent. The panel fielded questions on urban ecology, indigenous knowledge, resource management, and governance amid ethnic diversity.
  • Publication
    Third Annual Conference of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank, Bern, May 9-11, 2002: Keynote Speeches
    (2002-05) Wolfensohn, James D.; Wade, Abdoulaye; Moore, Mike
    On May 9-11, 2002 the members of the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank (PNoWB) met in Bern, Switzerland for their Third Annual Conference. The meeting took place in the Swiss Parliament to mark the tenth anniversary of Swiss membership in the Bretton Woods institutions. The attendance of 104 Members of Parliament from 42 countries helped to firmly establish the Parliamentary Network of the World Bank (PNoWB) as a parliamentary sounding board. The meeting underscored the important role that Parliamentarians play in international development. In the various sessions of the conference two themes recurred: implementation and governance. The participants of the conference were challenged by World Bank President James Wolfensohn to focus on implementing the international consensus that emerged from the conferences in Doha and Monterrey and leading up to Johannesburg. He urged Parliamentarians to invest in their relationships with their governments to be able to play an active role in implementing these development initiatives. At the same time, participants discussed the role that Parliamentarians could play to strengthen governance structures in developing countries to create an environment conducive to the success of development policies.