United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan congratulated Paul Wolfowitz of the United States on his election today as the president of the World Bank, saying he looked forward to working closely with him in the struggle against global poverty.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr. Annan stressed the importance of striving to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight targets that include halving extreme poverty and hunger, improving maternal health and obtaining universal primary education, all by 2015.
Mr. Annan also welcomed Mr. Wolfowitz to the Chief Executives Board of the UN, which brings together the heads of UN agencies, funds and programmes for two meetings each year.
Mr. Wolfowitz, who served most recently as United States Deputy Secretary of Defence, replaces James Wolfensohn as head of the Washington-based World Bank. The body, a specialized agency of the UN, serves as a development bank to low- and middle-income countries, offering loans, policy advice, technical assistance and other services.