Monday, March 22, 2004

DEMOCRACY (OF SORTS) AT THE IMF?


Though the IMF is a member organization of 184 countries, in practice everything important that happens at the IMF must pass through the organization's board of directors, comprised of representatives of 24 countries, but dominated by the US Treasury (see Global Gamble by Peter Gowan for more) and, to a lesser extent, Europe.

By tacit agreement, historical convention has deemed that the US picks the head of the World Bank and Europe picks the head of the IMF, with US approval. But just as European finance ministers were expected to meet this week for a session of horsetrading top positions at the IMF and the European Central Bank, a group of IMF executive directors representing more than 100 countries--developing countries as well as Russia, Australia, Switzerland, et. al.--released this statement:

"The G-11 Executive Directors, representing emerging and developing countries from Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East, joined by a group of Executive Directors from Australia and Switzerland, who each represent a range of countries, along with the Executive Director from the Russian Federation-well over 100 countries-met today to discuss the selection process for a new Managing Director of the IMF, arising from the resignation of Mr. Horst Köhler.

1. The above group is of the strong view that the candidate nominated for the position must be an eminent person, familiar with the goals of the institution.

2. The process of identifying and selecting the candidate must be open and transparent, with the goal of attracting the best person for the job, regardless of nationality. A plurality of candidates representing the diversity of members across regions would be in the best interest of the Fund.

3. All members of the Executive Board should be consulted in the process of considering candidates that lead to the selection of the Managing Director and informed in a timely manner regarding candidates, including their credentials and knowledge of the institution."


Not quite this, but its a start.

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