Opening remarks by ADB Vice President Bambang Susantono at the seminar on ADB's Strategy 2030: Emerging Directions at the 51st ADB Annual Meeting on 2 May 2018 in Manila, Philippines

Dear friends, a warm welcome to Manila, which has been our home for the last 50 plus years.

Appreciation of the Value Additions from CSOs

ADB continues to play a key role in the development of Asia and the Pacific. Despite significant progress in the region in the past 50 years, many of our developing member countries still face challenges caused by poverty and vulnerability. Persisting issues related to inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, urbanization, aging, among others, need to be addressed. Gender equity remains a development challenge throughout the region.

Trends in Asia and the Pacific point to the important role of CSOs in eradicating poverty and to promote greater prosperity, inclusiveness, and resilience. ADB recognizes that CSOs have much value to add through your extensive ground-level experiences, knowledge, expertise, and strong understanding of local communities.

We also recognize as Asia and the Pacific continues to grow, the access to funding sources and the general environment many of you operate in, is changing rapidly.

Ongoing and Continuous Engagement with CSOs (Examples)

Experience has also shown that ADB’s cooperation with CSOs brings about better development results in our operations. Let me give you some examples

  • Through ADB’s Integrated Disaster Risk Management Fund, grassroots women’s organizations in disaster-prone areas in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Viet Nam; are the ones leading innovative disaster risk management activities in their communities.

  • In Mongolia, ADB is helping improve the quality of life of people with disabilities by providing better economic and educational opportunities. We are working with people’s organizations to bring about more inclusive development services.

CSOs have made important contributions in the development and review of many of ADB policies. Stakeholder consultations were organized in the preparation and review of ADB policies such as the Accountability Mechanism, Public Communications Policy, and Safeguard Policy Statement, just to name a few.

ADB’s engagement with CSOs has come a long way, since the Policy on Cooperation with NGOs was adopted in 1998. For this we greatly appreciate your participation in this important meeting about the future of Asia and the Pacific.

Consultation on Strategy 2030

Let me close by encouraging you to use this opportunity to engage constructively and provide constructive feedback, to enable us to further strengthen our new Strategy 2030. Please also share your views on how we can work together better to meet some of the challenges of Asia and the Pacific.

I thank you once again and I wish everyone a constructive discussion this afternoon. Please also participate actively the rest of this week during this 51st Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of ADB.

Thank you.


  • Susantono, Bambang
    Susantono, Bambang
    Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development