Now that the Spring Meetings are over and the last Ministers have left, I want to express my thanks to each one of you for your contribution to the success of the meetings. In so many different ways, your contributions provided the basis for the Ministers fruitful discussions on trade, development and poverty reduction; HIV/AIDS; the HIPC initiative and other issues. The overall impact was of a team that is united, and an institution that is proud of its achievements.
We are working together on issues of human and global importance and we "stood tall" as we should have. Nevertheless we were open to listening, and in the coming weeks we shall assess the impact of the manifestations and criticisms to determine what we can learn for the future.
The Meetings also demonstrated how close we are to the IMF. They are our partners in every sense of the word and it is crucial that we build on our growing cooperation so that we can strengthen and learn from each other. This will assure even greater support for our clients. We must not allow any external criticism to break our unity of purpose.
I am especially grateful to our Security Staff for their remarkable work with the public authorities. I am also grateful to the Corporate Secretariat staff whose hard work ensured that the meetings ran smoothly, to those who prevented attacks on our computer systems and to EXT which worked round the clock to project a positive image of our institution. The Meetings were greatly assisted by those who prepared the programs and the detailed briefings for discussions with the delegations.
Each one of you however, deserves thanks as it is the cumulative effect of your work and your devotion to the cause of alleviating poverty that, in the end, allowed us to emerge with renewed strength.