“Securing the 21st century. Protecting the Planet” address by James D.Wolfensohn

Look what I found in my home library! The address of the World Bank President to the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C. October 2004.

It contains some promising headlines: “We can meet the challenge”; “Protecting the Planet: Environment Sustainability”; “Scaling up the Fight against Poverty”; “Youth and Education”; “Global Leadership for the21st Century”; “Conclusions: Promises to keep”. All the right words and calls for action.

An address or a speech is not a report. It is still a public statement by a person with power. People in power are accountable in every deed and word. I know I am a bit over-stretching it. Still, I am curious if there was any follow-up. Fifteen years forward, according to Greta Thunberg, a voice of youth, who took seriously the decades of silence: ‘Almost nothing is being done’ (COP25 summit,  Madrid 2019).

In development management there are many who say that they will do it and then do not. My take-away – if you say you’ll do it, do it. Be one of the rare ones.

Text available here: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/801111468149959845/Securing-the-21st-century-protecting-the-planet

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