The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Peter Costello

Peter Costello


11 March 1996 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 27/05/2007


Reform of Process for Appointment of World Bank President

The Treasurer today re‑iterated Australia’s strong support for the G‑20 position that the heads of the international financial institutions, including the World Bank, should be appointed using an open, transparent selection process with candidates not restricted by nationality.

Since the IMF and World Bank were established 60 years ago, the convention has been that a United States citizen, nominated by the President of the United States, be appointed as World Bank President and that the IMF Managing Director be a European nominated by the major countries of Western Europe.

At a time when the effectiveness and legitimacy of the Bank need to be restored, it would be unfortunate if a truly merit‑based process, allowing the consideration of candidates from any World Bank member country, were not followed on this occasion and into the future.

As 2006 Chairman of the G‑20 (the Group of Twenty emerging and advanced economies), Australia strongly supported a reference in the October 2006 G‑20 Communiqué which reiterated the position expressed in the October 2005 G‑20 Statement on Reforming the Bretton Woods Institutions that the selection of senior management of the IMF and World Bank should be based on merit and ensure broad representation of all member countries.

The G‑20 welcomed consideration of any steps to ensure a fully transparent process for the selection of the IMF Managing Director and the World Bank President.

Australia looks forward to the IMF and World Bank continuing their modernisation processes by opening up their appointment processes in response to the concerns of many of their members.

This statement is being issued jointly with similar statements from Trevor Manuel, the South African Minister of Finance and 2007 Chairman of the G‑20, and Guido Mantega, the Brazilian Minister of Finance and 2008 Chairman of the G‑20.

27 MAY 2007

Contact:  David Alexander - 0418 210 601