World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz has stressed the need to stay focused on what he called "the very important work of the bank" -- and not on a current investigation into his alleged ethical violations.

Wolfowitz made the comments Wednesday at a news conference in Brussels following a European Commission meeting on education.

On Tuesday, the former head of the World Bank's ethics committee said Wolfowitz did not consult with the panel over a promotion and a large pay raise he arranged for his girlfriend.

Ad Melkert made the assertion before a special panel investigating the matter. Melkert's statement contradicts Wolfowitz's previous statement that the board approved the action.

Wolfowitz is facing increasing calls for his resignation from current and former World Bank staff members who say the controversy has damaged the institution's ability to do its job.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, Reuters and Bloomberg.