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Zoellick Confirmed as World Bank President
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Robert B. Zoellick, nominated by US President Bush to become president of the World Bank, gained unanimous approval from the World Bank's board and will take over from Paul Wolfowitz, who was forced to resign after a favoritism scandal.

The board published a brief statement which read that Zoellick would bring "strong leadership and managerial qualities as well as a proven track record in international affairs and the drive required to enhance the credibility and effectiveness of the bank."

The board "are confident that he will address the challenges facing the Bank, including a successful 15th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA), development of a long-term strategy for the Bank Group and issues related to corporate governance," said the statement.

Zoellick, 53, held a meeting with the bank's 24-member board on Wednesday during which he outlined his perspective on the institution's opportunities and difficulties and pledged to try and stabilize the bank.

"It is a special honor and responsibility, and I am ready to get to work," said the former US top trade envoy and No. 2 diplomat in a statement, shortly after the board's approval.

He said he would draw upon of everyone in the World Bank Group, including consulting with staff operating on the frontlines of the bank's development.

"The Bank's board, staff, and many stakeholders know we face large challenges. We should tackle them with a humility gained through years of experience," he said.

"This accomplished institution of development, reconstruction, and finance not only needs to adapt: It must lead the way to achieving sustainable globalization, founded upon inclusive growth, opportunity, and respect for personal dignity," he added.

US President George W. Bush also hailed the announcement, praising Zoellick as "a dynamic leader who is deeply committed to the mission of the World Bank in helping struggling nations to defeat poverty, grow their economies, strengthen transparency and accountability in governance, and offer their people the prospect of a better life."

He pledged the US would continue its strong partnership with the development lender as Zoellick guided it in the future.

Tradition dictates that the United States, as the bank's largest shareholder, names the World Bank chief whilst Europe has the prerogative to nominate the leader of the International Monetary Fund.

Zoellick's predecessor, Paul D. Wolfowitz, resigned in May. His resignation will take effect on Saturday while Zoellick will be sworn in on Sunday.

(Xinhua News Agency June 26, 2007)

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