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U.S. Treasury Secretary visits IDB

U.S. Treasury Secretary O’Neill today visited the headquarters of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, D.C., becoming the first U.S. cabinet secretary in his position to address the Bank’s Board of Executive Directors in the 42-year life of the institution.

After recalling his personal and professional experiences in Latin America, Secretary O’Neill emphasized the need to achieve tangible and measurable results in programs aimed at improving the living conditions of people in the countries of the region. He asked the representatives of the 46 Bank member countries to actively fight international terrorism, especially money laundering.

IDB President Enrique V. Iglesias described recent Bank initiatives to strengthen the evaluation systems for its projects, and he underscored the IDB’s efforts to combat money laundering and to improve airport security, which affects tourism and commerce. He also emphasized the Bank's willingness to respond to emergency situations.

The current crisis, according to Iglesias, should encourage the countries of the region to improve their competitiveness and increase growth to achieve development objectives.

O’Neill responded to questions presented by members of the IDB Board of Executive Directors about issues such as the role of multilateral financial institutions and Western Hemisphere integration.

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