NGOs Launch Alternative Events against the Asian Development Bank at the 38 th Annual Governors’ Meeting
03 May 2005 – Istanbul . Barely twenty four hours before the governors of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) sit with their new president for their 38 th Annual Governors’ Meeting, dissenters of the institution’s policies and programs demand that the ADB must become accountable to their “prime customers” – the poor.

The Turkish Working Group on the ADB and the NGO Forum on ADB (a network of organizations and movements monitoring the impacts of ADB policies and projects in Asia and the Pacific) declare that it is time for International Financial Institutions (IFIs) to stop playing with the poor and exploiting them in the name of poverty reduction.

“The ADB has been getting away with too much for too long,” said Hemantha Withanage, Executive Director of the NGO Forum. “They claim that they are reducing poverty but actually they have run roughshod over poor people and we have had enough of it.”

According to Ozan Zeybek from the Turkish Working Group on the ADB, “ Turkey is a member of the ADB. Our taxes finance part of the ADB’s operations which are then channeled to private construction firms from Turkey . We do not want our tax money to be used for increasing the profits of Turkish companies by exploiting communities in Asia and the Pacific.”

In an effort to raise public awareness on the destructive impacts of neo-liberal policies imposed by the IFIs in the name of development, the Turkish Working Group on the ADB, NGO Forum on the ADB, and Focus on the Global South (a regional policy research organization based in Asia) have organized a series of alternative events that include seminars, fora, and a public rally.

According to the organizers of these events, IFIs have increasingly become instruments of an empire made up of a network of Northern governments, multinational corporations and military powers, who are imposing neo-colonialism through their exploitative economic policies. “ADB pays no attention to countries’ human rights situations and supports dictatorships as in Nepal and Central Asia ,” said Gopal Siwakoti ‘Chintan’, International Convenor of NGO Forum on ADB, “and it must stop now.”

For more details about the events, please contact the following persons:

Ozan Zeybek: 0532-6784217
Levent Sensever: 0537-7235494
Joy Chavez: 0544-8875651