HC Deb 08 July 2003 vol 408 c710W
Mr. Cameron

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what steps he has taken to ensure that developing countries have increased influence within the World Bank; and if he will make a statement. [123401]

John Healey

The UK has been taking a lead role in promoting measures to increase the voice of developing countries in the World Bank and the IMF. The Department for International Development (DfID) has lead responsibility for issues related to the World Bank, and the Treasury has been working closely with it on this issue. In the 2000 DfID White Paper, the Government committed towork with others to build a stronger, more open and accountable international system, in which poor people and countries have a more effective voice.

"Voice" is not only an important step in our partnership with developing and transition countries, but also makes a strong contribution to increasing the effectiveness of the development effort.

The UK played a key role in gaining agreement in the Board of the World Bank to provide additional staff to increase the capacity of the Sub-Saharan African representatives at the World Bank and the IMF, and is supporting further capacity-building proposals currently under discussion.

The Government also believe that further action is necessary, both at the institutional level and at the level of the Executive Board, and we are discussing proposals in these areas with our international partners in the World Bank and IMF.