Responding to today’s announcement that Christine Lagarde is stepping down as Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), effective on September 12, 2019, Nadia Daar, Head of Oxfam’s Washington Office, said:
“Madame Lagarde brought the Fund into the 21st Century, using her leadership role to promote the relevance of the IMF’s mandate to addressing women’s economic empowerment and inclusion, climate action, governance issues, and crucially, inequality.
“Lagarde has been an important champion globally on the need to tackle inequalities. She has used her platform to promote a rethink and action on taxation and inequality, corporate tax abuse and gender inequality, among other areas, and supported an initiative to integrate both gender and inequality into the IMF’s country surveillance work.
“Despite some signs of progress, there is still a long way to go to turn high-level discourse into action at the country level, with many staffers still pushing policies that risk further widening the gap between rich and poor. The task for Lagarde’s successor is to take the torch and dig deeper to transform the IMF into an institution that supports stability and sustainable growth using strategies that truly and consistently help to reduce inequalities. These strategies are fundamental to addressing poverty and promoting political and economic stability.
“We wish David Lipton the best of luck in his role as acting MD and urge the Executive Board of the IMF to ensure a genuinely open, merit-based and transparent process in the selection of a new MD as has been promised. The 75-year-old 'agreement' that the World Bank is led by an American and the IMF by a European is outdated and outrageous in this day and age. At a time of major economic challenges and the rise of populist leaders who question the legitimacy and credibility of multilateralism, there has never been a greater need for a truly democratic and representative process.”