Brown looks set to fail first foreign policy test.

In a letter to the FT, Dr. Ngaire Woods, director of Oxford University’s Global Economic Governance programme, calls on Gordon Brown to “step up to the plate”. She continues: “He has been curiously silent on the presidency of the World Bank in spite of official UK policy, and in spite of the fact that the UK is one of the world’s most generous and powerful foreign aid-giving countries. Furthermore, along with European countries, the UK opened up the procedure for selecting the last IMF head. Two candidates were interviewed by the board: a small step was made towards an open procedure. By contrast, the US has used the most secretive possible means of appointment in the World Bank, first in selecting Paul Wolfowitz and now in presenting Robert Zoellick.

Time is short. The US has announced its candidate. The board has declared that others can come forward before June 15. Mr Brown must be urged to build on the good example he (and others) set in the IMF headship selection.

He must support other countries to nominate an alternative candidate and to open up the process for the world to see the credentials of the person who will head this potentially vital organisation.”

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