Photo by Evan Leeson
Mayors, finance ministers, and executives from Canada to Chile met to talk about urban sustainability in the growing towns and cities of the Americas.
Every year, the Boards of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) hold their Annual Meeting in one of the member countries. This year, the meeting took place in Calgary from March 25 to March 28. It was held in Canada for only third time in the meeting’s history, and for the first time in 21 years.
The Fifty-Second Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank and the Twenty-Sixth Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Investment Corporation was placed in the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre.
Calgary as a perfect example
About 2,500 visitors from 48 member countries of IDB met to make plans for development projects across the Americas. According to the Calgary Herald, Luis Moreno, Development Bank president, praised Calgary as a “perfect example” of citizen engagement in urban planning, remarking fondly on the city’s public services and downtown revitalization projects.
Meeting of Finance Ministers
The IDB meeting was held at the same time as the Fourth Meeting of Finance Ministers of the Americas and the Caribbean. The Finance Ministers of 34 nations in the Western Hemisphere, including the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Canadian Minister of Finance, met in Calgary from 25-26 March to discuss economics. Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who took part in IDB’s Annual Meeting, said: “To have the decisionmakers and ministers of finance here with us means that a lot of the work that the IDB is talking about, particularly in the areas of development and anti-poverty work, can be directly communicated to the people who make the decisions.”
The meetings reflect Canada’s effort to participate in the fight against global economic crisis with American countries. The Canadian government provided 40 billion Canadian dollars in additional support to the IDB, and cancelled all debts owed to Canada by Latin American and Caribbean countries under the Canadian Debt Initiative (CDI).