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  • Publication
    Address to the U. N. Economic and Social Council
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1972-10-18) McNamara, Robert S.
    Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank, reviewed the state of development, and the relationship of economic growth to social equity. First, he summarized recent Bank activities, particularly those which bring the Bank into working relationships with other parts of the U.N. system. Second, he assessed the current state of development in the member countries. Third, he analyzed what he believes to be one of the most critical issues of the entire development process: the relationship of social equity to economic growth. He concluded that the international development community has a grave responsibility to the hundreds of millions of individuals throughout the disadvantaged world for whom these issues are not mere abstractions, but day-to-day realities. He believes, collectively, that touching those lives, and rendering them more livable is possible.
  • Publication
    Address to the Board of Governors, September 25, 1972
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1972-09-25) McNamara, Robert S.
    Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank, reported on the Bank’s operations in fiscal year 1972 and reviewed the progress of the Five-Year Program for 1969–73. He assessed the current state of development in member countries and outlined the program for the five years 1974–78. He explored the central issue of the relationship of social equity to economic growth. Given the shortfall in official development assistance, the debt problem, and the procrastination of the developed countries in dismantling discriminatory trade barriers, the Second Development Decade’s 6 percent growth target is not going to be met by many nations. The most persistent poverty is that of the low-income strata, roughly the poorest 40 percent of the total population in all development countries—who are trapped in conditions of deprivation. He argues that an urgent task is to reorient development policies to directly attack the poverty of the most deprived 40 percent of the population. Governments must achieve this without abandoning their goals of overall economic growth. Greater priority is needed to establish growth targets in terms of essential humans needs: nutrition, housing, health, literacy and employment, even at the cost of some reduction in the pace of advance in certain narrow and highly privileged sectors whose benefits accrue to the few.
  • Publication
    Address to the Board of Governors, September 27, 1971
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1971-09-27) McNamara, Robert S.
    Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank Group, remarked that progress has been made in both the qualitative and quantitative aspects of life in the vast majority of developing countries. Development has brought death rates down in those countries, but a corresponding adjustment in the birth rate is not automatic, and to date has been negligible. He focused on the basic problems of development: nutrition, employment, income distribution and trade.
  • Publication
    Address to the Board of Governors, Copenhagen, September 21, 1970
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1970-09-21) McNamara, Robert S.
    Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank Group, remarked that 1970 marked the beginning of the second quarter-century of the Bank’s existence, and prefaced the opening of second development decade. He sketched out the plans for maintaining the momentum of the Bank group's accelerated activity, stressed the need for fashioning a more comprehensive strategy for development, and welcomed the publication of the Pearson Commission report.
  • Publication
    Address to the Columbia University Conference on International Economic Development, New York, February 20, 1970
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1970-02-20) McNamara, Robert S.
    Robert S. McNamara, President of the World Bank Group, discussed the deliberations on the report of the Pearson commission. They preface the second development decade. The report addresses the issues on which a sound, sensible strategy for the seventies must be fashioned. But to be frank, in field after field, we have more questions than answers. To provide a solid foundation for development strategy, the Bank plans an expanded program of country economic missions, including representatives from the UNDP.
  • Publication
    Address to the Board of Governors
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 1968-09-30) McNamara, Robert S.
    In his first public speech as President of the World Bank, Robert S. McNamara stressed that the Bank faced the question of what action the Bank, as a development organization, needs to take to overcome the recent mood of frustration and failure among developing countries and donors. He noted that Lester Pearson will lead an independent commission on the state of development aid. In the meantime, McNamara vowed that the Bank can and will act, and it will provide leadership in development planning. He proposed that the Bank Group double lending over the next five years, directed at developing national economies, stimulating growth, and aiding the poorest nations which need the most help. Some of this effort will be funded by a dramatic increase in Bank borrowing. Additionally, he note the need for more international representation among the Bank’s staff to really be an International Bank. He called for changes in resource allocation to geographic areas and economic sectors. Aid to the regions of Latin America and Africa will rise relative to South Asia. He advocated increased focus to Education and Agriculture. He called for new initiatives to control population growth. He proposed three courses of action. First, make it clear to developing countries how the rapid growth of the population slows down their development potential. Second, look for opportunities to fund facilities for its members to carry out their programs of family planning. Third, join forces with others in research programs to determine the methods of the most effective family planning and national administration of population control programs.