6. Speeches by James D. Wolfensohn (1995-2005)

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James D. Wolfensohn served as ninth President of the World Bank Group from 1995 to 2005.

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  • Publication
    Address to Vice Chancellors of India on AIDS
    (2003-11-19) Wolfensohn, James D.
    James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, discusses the great challenges faced by India on the issue of AIDS. He urged greater education of students about the dangers of the disease and to deal with the issues of prevention. For those that have been taken by the disease, deal in an open and equitable way with the sufferers who are getting treatment. He also said that graduates also will convey the messages when they become teachers, when they train teachers, when they pass the message down to high schools and primary schools and when they interface with their communities.
  • Publication
    Remarks at the Second World Water Forum: From Vision to Action
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-03-22) Wolfensohn, James D.
    James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, noted that in many parts of the world, access to water distinguishes the poor from the non-poor. Lack of access to water is synonymous with poverty throughout the developing world. In Cote d'Ivoire and Benin more than 70 percent of people now have access to safe water. The Bank must look at the institutions to see how one can give stakeholders a real stake, how one can use water more efficiently, and how one can make service providers more accountable. He discussed technological and financial innovation and the challenge of inclusion. The Bank’s overarching goal remains to bring together all the elements that will enable to eradicate the human, social, and economic degradation of poverty; all the elements that will help to build a peaceful and secure world for future generations; all the elements that promise people healthier and more prosperous lives.
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    Challenges Facing the Bank in the 21st Century
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-03-14) Wolfensohn, James D.
    James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, discussed the challenges facing the World Bank. The Bank is now working and trying to deal with the questions of poverty and equity. While poverty is rarely about the lack of one thing, but instead many, the bottom line is that poor constantly live with hunger. Poverty has important psychological dimensions such as powerlessness, noiselessness, dependency, shame, and humiliation. The poor lack access to basic infrastructure such as roads, transportation, clean water. The poor rarely speak of income but instead focus on managing assets and the environment, social and human.
  • Publication
    Building Knowledge Societies: Access, Empowerment, Governance
    (2000-03-06) Wolfensohn, James D.
    James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, discussed the global knowledge partnership, which is central to the Bank’s work. The digital revolution brings opportunity. Knowledge can be transferred from developed to developing countries, but also that developing countries can exchange knowledge; that the knowledge learned in developing countries can come forward on an equal basis with the knowledge of development agencies, and in fact, change that knowledge, contour it, describe it in a way that can be effective and useful in the countries in development. Now, people in villages throughout the world having access to knowledge, to experience, to advice, and to guidance in real time. The Bank is looking at the prospect of putting together a global development gateway in which information is garnered from governments, federal and state and local, from civil society, from the private sector, and from multilateral and bilateral institutions.
  • Publication
    Speech at the Multi-Sectoral Conference on Partnerships for Governance and Development
    (2000-02-26) Wolfensohn, James D.
    James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, noted that we face a worldwide challenge as the population in developing countries grows. What sort of conditions are those people going to live in? Is there going to be equity? Social justice? Peace? The world has changed in the last 50 years, with the private sector and market-oriented economies prevalent, with a more dynamic civil society. In the Philippines, one in three live in poverty. Addressing this must be done in a cooperative way. The Comprehensive Development Framework brings together stakeholders. Social programs will only work if there is an effective structure involving these elements: the first element is strengthening governance; second element is a proper legal and judicial system; third element is the issue of financial supervision and control; fourth element is social system in place; and fifth element is the issue of corruption. The issue of implementation and the issue of transparent review and accountability are tremendously important.
  • Publication
    Remarks on the Comprehensive Development Framework
    (2000-02-23) Wolfensohn, James D.
    James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, remarked that the overwhelming pressure on the planet is a concern that affects all of us. The pressures on the environment, on health, on trade, on crime, on growth, on drugs, on immigration—all bring us close together in one planetary context. The Vietnamese economy is facing these issues as it tries to accommodate all these factors at the same time: the pressure of competition—competition for investment, the desire to relate the country to the international trading system, and the desire to create an environment which is hospitable to domestic and foreign investors and which spreads the wealth throughout in an equitable way. Through the Comprehensive Development Framework, the country should lead its citizens, civil society, the private sector, and the international institutions to set up not a series of projects but programs. These programs will identify the issues to be addressed over the next 10 years or 15 years. There needs to be some comprehensive form of review of process, and review of plans so that one can have an integrated approach, an approach that can be leveraged, that is participatory and that engages each sector of society.
  • Publication
    Rethinking Development: Challenges and Opportunities
    (2000-02-16) Wolfensohn, James D.
    James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, discussed his vision for development, addressing these topics: poverty and the development agenda; rethinking the approach; the global trading system and the development agenda; and the partnership imperative. He concludes that the Bank must work to realize an ambitious vision if we are to go forward together into a new century in which the long pent up aspirations of the poor of the earth are to have the chance for fulfillment that they deserve.
  • Publication
    The Comprehensive Development Framework
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2000-02-09) Wolfensoh, James D.
    Just over a year ago, on January 21, 1999, the authors circulated a proposal for a Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF), a discussion draft. The response has been overwhelmingly supportive. By way of illustration, in September 1999, the development assistance committee of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) prepared 'on common ground', a paper which reflects the consensus reached in the international development community on the CDF's main tenets. Another sign of this growing consensus is the recent endorsement by the Governors of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) of CDF principles as the basis for poverty reduction strategies for developing countries seeking Bank or International Monetary Fund (IMF) assistance, or debt relief under the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative (HIPC). As the international development community accepts the CDF as the approach to development which complements the necessary macroeconomic growth strategy without which poverty reduction cannot be achieved, the CDF is evolving from a Bank proposal into a widely used tool.
  • Publication
    Strategies to Fight the Globalization Trap
    (2000-01-31) Wolfensohn, James D.
    James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, discussed the concept of a globalization trap that have gotten support from quite a few critical publications recently. His concern with regards to globalization centers on two aspects of the problem. The first aspect is an increasingly imbalanced development path in which globalization is the reason for winner taking it all while the losers are left behind. The second aspect is that public interest is becoming secondary to individual interest, or turn it the other way around, globalization drives development, whereas government is at a loss to control it. An offensive strategy to fight the globalization trap is needed: the first aspect being a closer cooperation between the public and private sector to improve education and infrastructure, the second being to use the markets to solve problems rather than rely on government regulations, and the third is to make global communication facilities a tool for global cooperation.
  • Publication
    War on AIDS: Free from Poverty, Free from AIDS
    (2000-01-10) Wolfensohn, James D.
    James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank Group, noted that we will be judged on three counts: first, whether the we are serious about Africa's development and inclusion; second, whether we understand globally the nature of human security and sustainable development; and, third, whether the international community can face up to the global challenge of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). More than 13 million Africans have already died of AIDS, 23 million are now living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS, and 10 million African children have been orphaned by AIDS. The 21 countries with the highest rates of HIV are all in Africa. The Bank will provide governments with the maximum available funding to create and implement programs.