Asia: ADB Wraps Up 40th Annual Meeting in Kyoto

May. 08, 2007

KYOTO, JAPAN – The ADB 40th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors wrapped up today with ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda hailing the event as providing valuable insights into how ADB can evolve with a changing Asia.

This has been a memorable and successful meeting, Mr. Kuroda told Governors at the close of the last business session.

The various events and discussions that have taken place show how far we have progressed in fulfilling the vision of ADBs founding fathers. At the same time, we recognize the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

In wrapping up the closing session, Chair of the Board of Governors, Japans Minister of Finance Koji Omi, echoed this view, saying that poverty reduction and climate change and other environmental problems were pressing issues to be tackled in the region.

The Governors shared the view that ADB must continue to undertake its important mission as a regional development bank so that this region will overcome the challenges and become a model for the other regions of the world, Mr. Omi said.

Mr. Kuroda pointed out that Governors had appreciated the report of the Eminent Persons Group (EPG), convened by him last year to advise on future trends and challenges facing the region, and ADB’s long-term role in addressing them.

The debate that has surrounded the report of the Eminent Persons Group underscores the imperative for ADB to evolve to meet new challenges while staying focused on poverty reduction, he said.

He said that the EPG report will provide an important input into the review of ADBs long-term strategic framework to 2015, which will be defined through internal and external consultations.

Mr. Kuroda also expressed his satisfaction at the commitment from ADBs Governors to support a cleaner, more sustainable development path in the region.

Governors agreed that regions growth must be sustainable, he said. With the regions growth contributing to higher greenhouse gas emissions, Governors similarly agree on the need for cooperation and greater investment in cleaner and more efficient energy use and alternative energy sources.

The ADB President also appreciated support for ADBs Regional Cooperation and Integration Strategy. We are committed to a more proactive role in regional cooperation and integration to help less developed countries benefit from the global economy, he said.

Gathering in Kyoto for the four-day Annual Meeting program were more than 2,500 participants, including government ministers, financiers, academics, media, and representatives of international organizations and civil society.

The annual meetings are statutory occasions for the Governors of ADB members to provide guidance on ADB administrative, financial, and operational directions.

Besides the three business sessions, the Annual Meeting included a Seminar Series that addressed such topics as clean energy, Asia 10 years after the crisis, aging Asia, a global economy in transition, regional cooperation and integration, and urbanization.

The program for civil society representatives featured an open forum on ADBs Energy Strategy, meeting with ADBs President and senior management, and discussions on ADBs safeguards update.

The 41st Annual Meeting will take place 5-6 May 2008 in Madrid.

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