The Asian Development Bank will hold its 39th Annual Governors’ Meeting (AGM) from 3-6 May 2006 in Hyderabad, India. Chaired by Indian Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Ministers of 64 ADB member countries besides 3,000 delegates are expected to attend the event. Hyderabad is bracing for what is being billed as one of the biggest international meetings hosted by India. Chief Minister YSR Reddy has directed his administration to spare no expenses in making the event a success, even going to the extent of prohibiting protests near the venue.

‘This statement by the Chief Minister is unfortunate. The ADB is facing a deep crisis of legitimacy across Asia; there are groups mobilising against virtually every ADB project. The AGM is an important opportunity for peoples groups to protest and present our alternatives to the ADB model of development, said Souparna Lahiri of the Peoples Forum against the ADB.
The ‘Peoples Forum against the ADB’ is a broad coalition of over 60 social movements and NGOs from across Asia including the National Alliance of Peoples Movements, Narmada Bachao Andolan and Jubilee South. It will hold events from 3-6 May 2006 at Hyderabad.
Speaking at a media orientation workshop held at Hyderabad, Ravi Rebbapragada of Samata emphasized that, ‘The ADB is an extremely secretive, non-transparent and unaccountable institution, despite its rhetoric on good governance. Many of our MPs and MLAs have little idea about the institution. There is an increasing democratic deficit and this needs to be addressed. This will be one of the key tasks of the Peoples Forum’.
The media workshop on the ADB is part of the activities of the Peoples Forum against the ADB and was organised by two NGOs; Hyderabad based Samatha and New Delhi based Bank Information Centre – South Asia.  
The People Forum will organise several parallel events that will put the spotlight on the ADB and impacts of its projects across Asia. ‘The Parliamentary Forum on Reclaiming Democracy’ will bring together elected representatives to discuss issues such as accountability and alternative sources of development funding. Other events include forums on displacement, militarisation and a documentary film festival titled ‘ Images of Resistance’, said Lahiri.
‘We call upon journalists and media covering the AGM to look more critically at the ADBs rhetoric. The institution claims a mandate to eradicate poverty but our assessment is the opposite. Come to the Peoples Forum to hear voices from affected groups on how ADB projects are actually exacerbating poverty, stated Rebbapragada.  
The Peoples Forum will boycott the official AGM process.’ Our focus is on the Indian Government and our elected representatives. We don’t see any reason to talk to unelected bureaucrats from an unaccountable institution, argued Lahiri.
For more information or to arrange an interview with any members of the Peoples Forum against the ADB, please call Benny Kuruvilla (91-9820181191) or Ravi Rebbapragada (91-9848195937)