A two-year process finally came to a head Monday when the UNM Board of Regents unanimously passed the World Bank Bonds Resolution.
According to Julie Weaks Gutierrez, vice president for business and finance, the resolution states that the University will not directly invest in any World Bank bonds. She said that the resolution was the result of a student protest against any institution, including UNM, investing in World Bank bonds because of its record of controversial involvement with Third World economies.
In the spring of 2001, several local student groups formed the World Bank Bonds Boycott Committee and organized a protest in conjunction with international World Bank protests.
The World Bank is an international lender that works with Third World countries. Its mission, according to its Web site, is to help develop a world free of poverty.
According to a report included with the materials in the regent’s agenda, “Paul H. O’Neill, the secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department, has charged that the World Bank has driven poor countries ‘into a ditch’ by lending that has added to the debt levels of those poor countries, instead of donating funds to fight poverty.”
In response to the protest, the UNM administration created a committee, headed by Weaks Gutierrez, to create the resolution, which was approved by most major representative bodies on campus, including the Associated Students of UNM and the Graduate and Professional Student Association.
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The resolution states that “the UNM World Bank Bond Committee was charged with considering the issues concerning investment in World Bank Bonds, as well as socially responsible investment” and “there is a considerable range of informed opinion critical of the World Bank’s present policies.”
Weaks Gutierrez said that the resolution will create a permanent committee to review the World Bank’s record regarding reform and related issues, and if the World Bank’s activities in certain areas change, the resolution could be subject to change.
The permanent committee will include representatives from ASUNM, GPSA, the Student Bar Association, Staff Council and the UNM faculty.
The board also passed several items, including: approving creation of the UNM Retirees’ Association; the appointment of Warren D. Baur to the Board of Directors of Lobo Energy, Inc.; re-adoption of its policy concerning public notice of regents’ meetings; approval of a resolution regarding compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Privacy Act of 1996; and approval to proceed with planning and architect selection for renovation of Castetter Hall.
The board also selected Reg. Larry Willard to be president for another year, Reg. Jack Fortner to be vice president and Reg. Maria Griego-Raby as secretary/treasurer.