Friday, November 28, 2008

World Bank and IMF worried of another "NETAID fiasco" in the making in DOHA

The chief executive officers of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), two financial institutions based in Washington, have decided to skip the U.N. conference on Financing for Development (FfD), scheduled to take place in the Qatari capital Doha over this weekend. World Bank President Robert Zoellick and IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn have both opted to skip the U.N. conference, even though Ban Ki-Moon and Kemal Dervis worked "extremely hard" to upgrade it to a summit meeting.

Sources close to WB and IMF quote the fear of the event being stolen and mismanaged from UNDP and the newly appointed Executive Secretary of UNCDF - David Morrison - to another soap-opera like NETAID.

"They are not coming," Father Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann, president of the 192-member General Assembly, told reporters Tuesday.

As usual whenever someone has the courage to afront the corruption inside the UN and disagree with UNDP and its leadership, they are immediately identified as being "pro" US. Without identifying the United States by name, d'Escoto Brockmann said the two Bretton Woods institutions "are controlled by a member of the United Nations who is anti-United Nations."

D'Escoto told reporters that he was asked whether he received a notification about the absence of the two officials from Doha.

"They wrote to the Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon)," he said, "But they didn't write to me."

Referring to Zoellick and Strauss-Kahn, D'Escoto said: "Of course, they will not tell me that I don't exist. It is not that I do not exist. It is the General Assembly [of 192 members] that does not exist" [in their eyes]," he added.

At international conferences, it's the elected president of the General Assembly who is given a higher diplomatic status, protocol-wise, than the secretary-general, according to one U.N. official.

The president of the Assembly is also ranked with heads of state and heads of government, while the secretary-general has the status of a foreign minister. The president, not the secretary-general, represents the U.N.'s 192 member states.

Asked why Zoellick and Strauss-Kahn were not attending the Doha summit, the executive secretary of FfD, Oscar de Rojas, said the IMF managing director had cited "pressing work-related reasons in a personal letter to the secretary-general".

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