Wolfowitz says he will stay on
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published April 16, 2007
WASHINGTON - World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz said Sunday that he will continue to lead bank efforts to reduce global poverty, resisting calls to step down over his involvement in securing a huge pay increase for a close female friend.
"The bank has important work to do and I will continue to do it," he said at a news conference winding up a meeting of the steering committee for the bank and the International Monetary Fund.
To questions about whether he should resign, Wolfowitz said, "I believe in the mission of this organization, I intend to carry it out, I have had many expressions of support."
Alison Cave, head of the World Bank Staff Association, which represents 7,000 of the bank's Washington employees, said the group believes Wolfowitz should resign.
"We do not see how he can possibly regain the trust of the staff," she said.
British Development Minister Hilary Benn said Saturday that "this whole business has damaged the bank and should not have happened" and was distracting attention away from the bank's agenda.
"This weekend ought to be about the bank's contribution to fighting poverty, and I'm looking forward to discussing how we can increase aid, tackle climate change and get clean water to 1-billion human beings," Benn said.
Some African officials attending the meetings expressed support for Wolfowitz, saying he has made the continent a greater priority at the bank.
"We have seen visionary leadership, steadfast progress under Mr. Wolfowitz," said Liberia's finance minister, Antoinette Sayeh. "We can only say that we look forward to that continuing."
[Last modified April 16, 2007, 02:14:59]
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