Ambassador Nana Bema KumiThe international systems which govern relations among nations are, at each stage in human history, crafted by persons who seek to promote their strategic, national or group interests as well as those who genuinely rise above such interests to reach for the general good of mankind. The opportunities to effect such major changes with global repercussions are rare and, more rare are the times when such opportunities meet with the right persons who can turn the former to the advantage of humanity and change the world for the better.

The current process to fill the top post of the World Bank represents one of such rare times. For, an opportunity for those countries which have been the crafters of the world systems since time immemorial to rise to the challenge of demonstrating their ability to respond to the aspirations of mankind, has presented itself on this particular occasion. The right people are in place to make a change that will resonate to the ends of the four corners of the world for years to come by demonstrating their ability to simply vote for the most deserving candidate to take up the leadership of such an important institution whose work affects both developed and developing nations.

Good governance is the battle cry of our times. Democratic practices based on fairness and proven ability to take on challenges is widely acknowledged and embraced by all. Qualification and proven ability to take on this particular challenge of heading the World Bank, should therefore be the key factors in choosing the winner. That is how such a major world institution can serve as an example in upholding good governance. The billions of dollars spent and the immeasurable efforts made worldwide to promote good governance will have greater impact among nations and on the lives of private persons if the promoters are seen upholding such a noble cause at all levels, be it national or international and at all times. This belief is at the heart of the quest for a reform of the UN system.

It is a rare opportunity to have at hand capable candidates as well as world leaders who appreciate the current and future role of developing countries in world politics. The opportunity is even rare when it comes to considering the fact that a woman from an African village who has proven her mettle in the World Bank, is in the race. The world has been shaped to a very large extent by men. Certainly, all things being equal, if given a chance, Ngozi, judging by her past performance, would join the few women who have changed and are changing the world for the better.

Although it might mean sacrificing certain national and even group interests today to ensure a more balanced international system, it is pertinent to note that, when the international system is balanced, world leaders earn more respect and the right to continue showing the way.

By: Ambassador Nana Bema Kumi

(Executive Director) Institute of Diplomatic Practice and Development Policies Accra – Ghana

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