Over 60 civil society organisations from around the world are calling on the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to defer a decision which would fundamentally change the way AIIB is governed. At its Board meeting in April, the AIIB’s Board is slated to consider a proposal to delegate decision-making from the Board to the Bank’s own Management over which projects it approves.

The Board will retain approval over some projects but not all – and the criteria or thresholds for which projects will not be subject to Board scrutiny are not yet clear. In a public statement, the CSOs call on the Board to delay such a crucial decision, stating:

“This decision goes to the heart of the question of governance at the Bank. Board members are accountable to their constituent governments, shareholders of the AIIB, for their decisions. Shareholder governments in turn are responsible to their citizens for ensuring that the Bank upholds its environmental and social standards in its lending operations. In essence, the project approval process by the Board provides an opportunity for civil society and potentially affected communities to raise their concerns with their representatives, to ensure decisions are well-informed and take account of potential harms.”