"The convention that the selection of the Managing Director is made, in practice, on the basis of nationality undermines the legitimacy of the fund," Executive Directors representing the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) grouping of countries in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said in a joint statement.
The BRICS nations noted that 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.
In this regard, they said several international agreements have called for a truly transparent, merit-based and competitive process for the selection of the Managing Director of the IMF and other senior positions in the Bretton Woods institutions.
"This requires abandoning the obsolete unwritten convention that requires that the head of the IMF be necessarily from
Europe. We 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," they said.
"These statements contradict public announcements made in 2007, at the time of the selection of Strauss-Kahn, when 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,'" they noted.
The BRICS nations believe that if the fund is to have credibility and legitimacy, its Managing Director should be selected after broad consultation with the membership, they noted.
"It should result in the most competent person being appointed as Managing Director, regardless of his or her nationality. We also believe that adequate representation of emerging market and developing members in the fund's management is critical to its legitimacy and effectiveness," it said.
"The next Managing Director of the fund should not only be a strongly qualified person, with solid technical background and political acumen, but also a person that is committed to continuing the process of change and reform of the institution so as to adapt it to the new realities of the world economy," the joint statement said.