Take it away, Nelson.
Paul Wolfowitz, the embattled president of the World Bank who came to Brussels today to mobilize world governments on education policy in the developing world, was forced instead to dodge questions about an intensifying ethics scandal.
The aim of the conference, at which the European Union played host, was to galvanize the international community to honor its promises to provide primary education to all children by 2015. But the meeting was overshadowed by questions about Mr. Wolfowitz’s future, including a statement Tuesday by a former head of the bank’s ethics panel that Mr. Wolfowitz had manipulated information in the controversy over his handling of a pay increase and a promotion for his companion, Shaha Ali Riza.
So guarded was the reception for Mr. Wolfowitz that Gordon Brown, Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, canceled plans to appear on the podium with him at a news conference. British officials said publicly that Mr. Brown had decided to leave early to campaign in the Scottish elections. But privately they admitted that appearing side by side with Mr. Wolfowitz had become a political liability.
Mr. Wolfowitz initially escaped the hoard of reporters waiting to greet him at the entrance of the conference, held at the European Commission’s headquarters, by entering the sprawling building through an underground garage. But at a news conference where former African child laborers discussed the importance of going to school and where Mr. Wolfowitz spoke movingly about his grandfather’s lack of education, his discourse was disrupted by recurring questions about his stewardship.