"I am certainly grateful for the opportunity to address such a distinguished audience, but of course I deeply regret the circumstances that have made it necessary for me to substitute for Dominique Strauss-Kahn," the International Monetary Fund number two said, opening a talk on the global economy.
It was the first public comment of a top IMF official since Strauss-Kahn's resignation was announced at midnight Wednesday in a statement released by the IMF executive board, four days after he was arrested in New York on charges that he tried to rape a hotel chambermaid.
Strauss-Kahn was originally scheduled to give the address to the annual meeting of the Bretton Woods Committee, representing the original organization which created the World Bank and IMF in 1944.
Lipsky made no comment on the process for choosing a new managing director.
The speech warned that several peripheral European countries "remain in critical situations" with "no easy solution." "The only viable option for Europe today is a solution that is comprehensive and consistent, and that is also cooperative and shared," he said.