4 Oct 2004

New Zealand tells World Bank to improve its effort in the Pacific

8:23 pm on 4 October 2004

The New Zealand Finance Minister, Dr Michael Cullen, has called for the World Bank to improve its performance in the Pacific.

The 2004 annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank ended today in Washington DC.

Dr Cullen told the Bank Governors he was concerned an internal review is critical of the Bank's Pacific activities over the past ten years.

Dr Cullen says the Bank has to act on the findings when it develops its new strategy for the region.

He says there needs to be a coherent strategy that takes a full account of the efforts of other players in the Pacific.

Dr Cullen also told the Governors the Bank and the IMF could help the region implement its new Pacific Vision for greater regional cooperation.

He says the agencies should seek out opportunities to work closely with the Pacific Islands Forum, which will implement the Plan.

Dr Cullen says for the first time in decades there is a chance to unite behind one vision, one regional response, and the agencies should not miss the opportunity.