The World Bank’s mission is two-fold: to reduce world poverty and promote shared prosperity. With 189 countries and $45.9 billion in loans and grants, the World Bank currently runs 12,000+ projects to support development and relief. Yet, these projects are not free. In many cases, the World Bank ties in certain conditions as a part of the loans.
Many criticisms of World Bank loans have been based on the “Washington Consensus,” focusing on liberalisation of trade, and deregulation and privatization of nationalised industries. With the United States holding 16.77% of voting shares, it is no wonder that the World Bank has been perceived as a mechanism for industrialised nations to open up markets for their corporations.
Frequently, these conditionalities are imposed without regards to the borrower’s national economic situation and circumstances. Instead of solving the problem, these conditionalities exacerbate economic distress in these countries.
With loans to over 75 nations, the World Bank plays a critical role in alleviating poverty throughout the world. Yet, the costs of taking on an World Bank loan can outweigh the benefits.
Thus, in the World Bank committee, committee members will be tasked with establishing a framework for reducing harmful conditionalities for borrower nations while keeping the interests of creditor nations in mind. This includes reforming the current loan conditions that are placed on loans, implementing a more fair voting system, as well as considering the impacts of other rival international finance institutions such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
Welcome to the World Bank! My name is Bryan Wu, and I am beyond excited to be serving as your director for HMUN 2020.
I am a junior at Harvard College studying statistics with a minor in history and a citation in Italian. I was born in China, about 90 miles outside Beijing and moved to the United States when I was 4. I attended high school in the sunny Atlanta suburb, Marietta. While my high school did have a Model UN team, I regrettably never joined. It was only in college, when as a sophomore, some friends coerced me into applying for HMUN, which turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made so far. Through HMUN, I have found a community of people passionate about leading the world in facing its most critical challenges. Through hours of late-night organization, debate, and food, I have forged some of my closest friendships. Last year, I was an Assistant Director for Business for HMUN (some of you might have seen me delivering roses to your committees) and an Assistant Director of the IMF at HNMUN.
Outside HMUN, I am involved in Harvard Student Agencies and Harvard College Consulting Group. In my spare time, I enjoy playing tennis, watching Netflix, and figuring out the next restaurant that will make me bankrupt.
I am excited to be your director for the World Bank Committee at HMUN 2020 and would like to extend a warm welcome to all the delegates! Through this committee, I hope to give you all the chance explore the World Bank and its role in the world economy. But more importantly, I hope this committee gives you a chance to practice your debate skills, enhance your leadership capabilities, and make lasting friendships!
I cannot wait to meet and interact with each and every one of you. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out and contact me.
Director, World Bank
Harvard Model United Nations 2020