World Bank President Robert Zoellick on Wednesday unveiled a new strategy that will focus the poverty-fighting institution's efforts on ensuring the world's poor also benefit from increased globalization.
In a speech that marks his first 100 days at the World Bank, Zoellick said the bank needed to become more effective to achieve "inclusive and sustainable globalization" by addressing the needs of poor and emerging economies as well as paying closer attention to the environment.
"Globalization offers incredible opportunities," he said in text prepared for a speech at the National Press Club. "Yet exclusion, grinding poverty and environmental damage create dangers."
His speech offered a clearer direction for the bank based on six themes that include sharpening the focus on combating poverty in poor countries, addressing the needs of states coming out of conflict, giving more support to the Arab world, and playing a bigger role in emerging economies.
He also said he would step up the bank's assistance to international efforts on climate change, adding that he hoped to elaborate more on the issue ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Bali in December.
Zoellick also called on rich donor countries to step up their contributions to the bank's fund for its poorest borrowers in current negotiations to replenish the International Development Association, or IDA.
The World Bank president recently announced the bank would increase its own contributions to IDA using profits from its private-sector lending unit, the International Finance Corp.
"I wanted all donors to know -- in concrete terms -- that the World Bank Group will 'put its money where its mouth is' when it comes time to boosting IDA," he says. "Now we need the G8 and other developed countries to translate their words from Summit declarations into serious numbers too."
Still, Zoellick said the bank should do more to expand its thinking about policy and markets and pioneer opportunities to assist the developing world.
"It is the purpose of the World Bank Group to assist countries to help themselves by catalyzing the capital and policies through a mix of ideas and experience, development of private market opportunities, and support for good governance and anti-corruption -- spurred by our financial resources," he said.
He also said the bank should help advance ideas about international projects and agreements, while strengthening its work on fighting corruption.