HL Deb 24 November 1997 vol 583 c105WA
Lord Avebury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What information they have received from the United Kingdom's Executive Director of the World Bank explaining why the bank has not responded to the submissions by Oxfam and other non-governmental organisations on the bank's current review of the resettlement guidelines for people compulsorily displaced by development projects, and whether they will make representations to the bank, (a) on the importance of the independence on its inspection panel procedure (which allows displaced persons to complain about alleged breaches of the Guidelines), and (b) on the need for transparency in the bank's affairs.

Lord Whitty

The Government have made representations to the World Bank on the need for openness and transparency in converting its operational directives (ODs), which are mandatory, to operational policies, bank procedures and good practices guidelines, and for wide consultation throughout the process. We understand that the bank will respond in due course to the large number of submissions it has received on the resettlement guidelines, explaining how these are being incorporated into the new guidelines. On the role of the inspection panel, the Government fully agree that its independence must be protected, and our Executive Director has made representations to the World Bank President, management and the panel itself to this effect.