Top Story of the Week: Leadership at IMF, UN: Stories in Contrast

As the International Monetary Fund prepares for a leadership transition that it hopes to complete this June, the United Nations appears set to see a continuation of Ban Ki-moon’s leadership for the next five years.

The race to lead IMF continues to generate buzz as the deadline for nominating candidates draws near and reports about emerging nations’ apparent change of stance toward the idea of another European taking helm of the fund surface. This race has been anything but smooth and has made headlines from the time it started – especially considering how the need for a new IMF leader came about – until now that candidates are touring the world in an attempt to shore up support for their bids.

The top emerging economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – have notably opposed the idea of naming a European to lead IMF, a convention since the fund’s creation in 1946. Recent reports, however, indicate that these nations may be warming up to France’s Christine Lagarde, whom the countries are reportedly seeing as their best bet to get more representation and voice in the fund.

Ban, in contrast, has been reportedly assured of another term even before he formally announced his bid on Monday (June 6). Four of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – the United States, United Kingdom, France and China – have since publicly voiced their support for the current secretary-general. The Security Council recommends the next secretary-general, which needs to be approved by the U.N. General Assembly. Ban also has no declared contender.

About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.