World Bank Group President Jim Young Kim World Bank Photo Collection/Flickr

A New Vision for the World Bank

Holding this year's World Bank meetings in Peru, a developing country, represents a welcome shift from the usual Washington, DC venue. One hopes that it portends other necessary shifts, with the Bank reframing its mission and undertaking new tasks – and with its biggest shareholder, the US, rethinking its role.

LIMA – Finance ministers, central bankers, and development economists are gathering in Lima, Peru, for the World Bank’s annual meetings, where the debate will focus on how the institution’s agenda fits our changing world. Holding the event in a developing country represents a welcome shift from the usual Washington, DC venue. Now, the Bank should make some other important shifts: It should reframe its mission and undertake new tasks, while its biggest shareholder, the United States, should rethink its role in the organization.

The World Bank’s current mission – to end extreme poverty within a generation and boost shared prosperity – is undoubtedly important. But, by reframing that mission to emphasize support for member governments’ pursuit of inclusive and sustainable growth, the Bank could do even more good.

Such an approach would reflect and reinforce the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will guide global development efforts until 2030. And, far from excluding the current goal of ending poverty, it would embrace poverty reduction as an outcome of building stable, prosperous societies, in which citizens, through their taxes, are able and willing to fund capable and responsive states that honor agreed global standards and rules.

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