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IDB holds 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Medellin, Colombia, March 27-31

Finance ministers, central bankers and high ranking officials from the 48 member countries of the Inter-American Development Bank will hold the Annual Meeting of the Boards of Governors of the IDB Group in Medellin, Colombia, March 27-31.

The event, the main forum for discussion of political, economic and social development in Latin America and the Caribbean, attracts thousands of participants, including bankers, business leaders, academics, civil society representatives and journalists every year.

The plenary sessions of the Boards of Governors of the IDB and its affiliate, the Inter-American Investment Corporation, will take place March 29-31. As the IDB’s and IIC’s top policymaking bodies, the boards will examine their policies and new initiatives.

This year, the IDB celebrates its 50th anniversary. Medellin, a model of creative urban renewal in Latin America after making remarkable gains against poverty, violence and inequality, was chosen to host the anniversary annual meeting.

The IDB is the world’s largest regional development bank and the leading source of multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2008 the IDB approved new operations totaling more than $11.2 billion.


Other Annual Meeting activities will include:

  • A seminar with distinguished economists, including Nobel Prize winner Robert Merton, will discuss economic and social policies to weather turbulent times for Latin America and the Caribbean in the context of the global crisis. The panel will be moderated by Foreign Affairs magazine editor, Moises Naim.

  • IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno will participate in several youth activities in Medellin, including rural youth programs and a youth entrepreneurship training project. The IDB-MTV Youth as Agents of Change campaign will hold a dialogue with writers Edmundo Paz Soldan of Bolivia, Jorge Franco from Colombia, Wendy Guerra from Cuba, Alberto Fuguet of Chile and Claudia Amengual of Uruguay.

  • Moreno will moderate a panel with Secretary General of the Ibero-American General Secretariat, Enrique V. Iglesias and former Jamaican Prime Minister Percival J. Patterson, who will discuss the economic and social challenges of our times. The IDB will present findings of a survey of leaders in the region that will show how they perceive the effects of the crisis over countries and the role of international organizations.

  • With the participation of government officials, businessmen and experts, including Juan Enriquez Cabot and Michael Chu, President Moreno and IDB Vice President for Private Sector and Non-Sovereign Guaranteed Operations, Steven J. Puig, will launch the Inter-American Forum for the Small and Medium Enterprise. Panelists will present relevant case studies, will discuss lessons learned and will share ideas with distinguished small and medium-sized enterprise experts.
  • IIC Manager Jacques Rogozinski and Moreno will sign an agreement launching FINPYME in Colombia, which partners universities with small and mid-sized companies to produce a diagnostic tool for companies.

  • Moreno will speak about how Latin Americans and Caribbeans perceive their quality of life and how such opinions can help shape policy. Panelists Roberto Lavagna, former Argentina’s Finance Minister, and Alain Touraine, research director at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, will discuss the political implications of perceptions during periods of financial crises. The debate will be moderated by journalist Michael Reid from The Economist, specialized in Latin American issues.

  • The seminar Boosting Prosperity through Information and Technology will include Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board of Intel Corporation and internationally renowned experts Jun Hyong Rho from Korea and Jorma Routti from Finland.

Events Venue in Medellin

The annual meeting’s inaugural session will be held at the Metropolitan Theater on March 29 at 5.30pm. All other events will take place at the Medellin’s Plaza Mayor Convention Center.


The IDB will provide daily video footage highlights of activities through its website at In addition, it will offer free video coverage from March 27 through March 31st, which will be broadcast via satellite.

Art Exhibits

In conjunction with the annual meeting, the IDB Cultural Center is holding an art exhibit Medellin: Art and Development at its Washington D.C. headquarters from February 19 through May 24, 2009. The Cultural Center will also present in Washington D.C. a group of five young musicians from the music bands of Antioquia program.

Another exhibition called Medellin: Fifty Years, Fifty Works of art from Latin America and the Caribbean, will be held March 16-May 24 at the Museum of Antioquia in Medellin. The exhibit will include fifty outstanding XX Century works of art from the collections of the IDB and the Art Museum of the Americas of the Organization of American States, including artists such as Joaquin Torres Garcia, Emilio Pettoruti, Pedro Figari, Roberto Matta and Wilfredo Lam.

Carbon Neutral

The 2009 Annual Meeting will be a carbon neutral event. Starting in 2006, the IDB decided to offset or neutralize greenhouse gas emissions from participants’ flights, local travel and accommodations, as well as from the venues where conferences are held, through the purchase of carbon credits from projects that bring renewable energy solutions to communities in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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