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IMF chief selection should reflect new realities of world economy: BRICS

WASHINGTON, May 24 (Xinhua) — The selection of the next head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) should reflect the changing realities of the global economy and not on the basis of nationality, meaning the tradition that requires a European chief, the fund’s five key emerging market economies executive directors said on Tuesday.

“The convention that the selection of the managing director is made, in practice, on the basis of nationality undermines the legitimacy of the fund,” said IMF directors for China, Brazil, India, South Africa and Russia, or BRICS countries in a joint statement, rejecting that the successor to former IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn should continue to be a European.

The recent financial crisis which erupted in developed countries, underscored the urgency of reforming international financial institutions so as to reflect the growing role of developing countries in the world economy, noted the statement.

The new global economy requires “abandoning the obsolete unwritten convention that requires that the head of the IMF be necessarily from Europe,” it said.

“We believe that, if the fund is to have credibility and legitimacy, its managing director should be selected after broad consultation with the membership,” the IMF directors said, adding that the new IMF boss should be chosen on the basis of competence, not nationality.

The directors said that they are concerned with public statements made recently by high-level European officials to the effect that the position of managing director should continue to be occupied by a European.

“These statements contradict public announcements made in 2007, at the time of the selection of Mr. Strauss-Kahn, when Mr. Jean- Claude Junker, president of the Euro group, declared that ‘the next managing director will certainly not be a European’ and that ‘in the Euro group and among EU finance ministers, everyone is aware that Strauss-Kahn will probably be the last European to become director of the IMF in the foreseeable future’,” said the directors.

The 187-member international financial institution initiated the nomination period to select its next leader on Monday and it will close on June 10, 2011.

Strauss-Kahn resigned on May 18 after being arrested and accused of sexually attacking a maid at the Sofitel New York hotel on May 15.

More and more people believe that emerging markets and developing economies should have bigger say in the international institutions.

Recent reports from the World Bank and the IMF showed that the world economy structure has been changing, with emerging markets and developing countries becoming the major engine of global growth.

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