IMF and World Bank: Appointment Procedures — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:21 pm on 1st December 2010.

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Photo of Lord Stern of Brentford Lord Stern of Brentford Crossbench 3:21 pm, 1st December 2010

I thank the Minister for his Answer and I declare an interest as a former chief economist and senior vice-president of the World Bank.

Does the Minister agree with the assessment that the system of reservation-because that is what it is-of headships of the IMF and the World Bank for Europe and the United States respectively is outdated, unacceptable in the modern world and deeply resented by the Governments and people of developing countries? Does he also agree that past declarations of the importance of open competitions have not prevented the UK Government from participating in the continuation of these stitch-ups? Does he therefore agree that, to make the openness clear, the UK should support non-European and non-US candidates for these positions? There are many outstanding candidates. I am happy to provide him with a list. If the IMF position becomes available first, Europe must take the lead, as a matter of principle, whether or not the US tries to keep its monopoly at the World Bank.