Distinguished Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr. Lee Hsien Loong, Managing Director de Rato, President Wolfowitz, fellow Governors, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to welcome you all to the 2006 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. It is a great honor for my country, Guyana, to chair these meetings.
Mr. Chairman, Governors, and distinguished guests, I am pleased to join you for the Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group. I would like to extend a special thanks to the Government and people of Singapore for hosting us and for their hard work in organizing this meeting, and to the Chairman of the Development Committee, Alberto Carrasquilla, for leading our important discussions.
Let me welcome all of you to Singapore. We are honored to be the hosts for this year’s Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. We hope that the Singapore Meetings will mark another milestone in our collective efforts to promote sustained global growth and lift our people out of poverty.
Mr. Chairman, Governors, honored guests, it is a pleasure to welcome you to these Annual Meetings. Before beginning my speech, I would like to make an announcement. Last night, the Board of Governors completed its vote on reform of quotas and voice in the International Monetary Fund. This morning, I am delighted to tell you that Governors have voted overwhelmingly in support of the reforms.
At their meetings in September 1996, the IMF’s Interim Committee and the IMF and World Bank’s Development Committee endorsed specific proposals put forward jointly by the IMF and the World Bank to address the problems of a limited number of HIPCs that follow sound policies, but for which traditional debt-relief mechanisms are inadequate to secure a sustainable external debt position over the medium term. The Committees requested the two institutions to proceed quickly with the implementation of the Initiative.