Oxfam reaction to 28 UN Special Rapporteurs Letter to World Bank President

Published: 17th December 2014

Yesterday, 28 UN Special Rapporteurs, sent a letter to World Bank President Jim Kim on the first draft of the new social and environmental safeguards, raising their great concerns with the new draft. The letter criticizes the Bank for avoiding any meaningful reference to human rights in the draft and states that the Bank is increasingly becoming an outlier in this regard compared to other international organizations. The UN experts also highlight their concern with significant dilutions of the existing Safeguards, despite a repeated promise by President Kim that the revision process would not result in any dilution.

In response, the Head of Oxfam’s Washington Office, Nicolas Mombrial said; “"Today the UN's leading experts have issued a dire warning to the World Bank: make sure you promote human rights or risk being an 'outlier' in the international community. Without strong protections in place, say the experts, the Bank risks being involved in land grabbing and human rights violations at the expense of poor people. Oxfam welcomes this significant intervention by the UN and hopes that President Kim will heed their warnings."

Contact information

Nicolas Mombrial, Head of Washington DC office, Oxfam International
tel +1 202 496 1174, mob + 1 240 423 7184

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