Delegates Arrive in Bali Ahead of ADB's 42nd Annual Meeting

BALI, INDONESIA - The first of more than 3,500 participants arrived at the Bali International Convention Centre today as registration desks opened for Asian Development Bank's (ADB) 42nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors.

ADB’s Annual Meeting brings together senior officials from across Asia and the Pacific to discuss ways to effectively address poverty and ensure sustainable economic growth in the region.

Finance ministers, senior government officials, business leaders, academics, media, and representatives of international organizations and civil society are among those gathering for the event to be held 2-5 May.

ADB’s highest policy-making body is its Board of Governors, which meets annually and comprises one representative from each member country. The annual meetings are statutory occasions for the Governors of ADB members to provide guidance on ADB administrative, financial and operational directions.

The 2009 event marks the second time the ADB has held its Annual Meeting in Indonesia after a 1976 meeting in Jakarta. Indonesia was a founding member of the ADB in 1966 and is a key development partner, receiving $1.01 billion in public sector lending in 2008.

Among the major issues expected to be under discussion this year is the progress that ADB has made towards achieving its objectives under its long-term Strategy 2020 framework adopted at its 2008 Annual Meeting in Madrid, Spain.

ADB officials, government leaders and private sector experts will also participate in a series of seminars dedicated to key issues such as the Asian response to the global economic crisis, climate change and regional integration.

There is also a program for civil society and nongovernmental organization representatives, including a joint ADB-World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) panel discussion on "Greening Asia's Footprint: From Global Crises To Sustainability" on the morning of 2 May.

The Annual Meeting will hold its formal opening session on the morning of 4 May and will close late afternoon on 5 May with a press conference.