Lagarde Says Global Economy Struggling to Reach ‘Cruising Speed’

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde reiterated her call for a “new multilateralism” to overcome a mediocre global recovery and solve problems such as climate change, gender bias and income inequality.

“Many of the challenges we face represent a collective threat, and call for a cooperative response,” Lagarde said today in accepting Foreign Policy magazine’s diplomat of the year award in Washington. “It is only by acting collectively that an individual country’s self-interest can be achieved.”

Lagarde said the global economy is still “struggling to regain cruising speed,” while geopolitical problems in Ukraine and the Middle East compound the difficulties. The IMF is ready to do more to ease the Ebola crisis, she said.

“Challenges like these can only be held at bay -- they can only be overcome -- through working together,” Lagarde said. “What I am talking about here is a renewed commitment to the global public good.”

She also repeated her call for the U.S. Congress to approve the 2010 quota and governance reforms at the IMF to sustain the fund and increase the representation of emerging-market countries.

“By this simple act of international solidarity, the U.S. will demonstrate the global leadership that it displayed so amply 70 years ago,” Lagarde said, referring to the founding of the fund at an international conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. “We cannot let those visions and expectations vanish and be squandered.”

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