1 September 2009
On September 1, 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Calgary has been selected to host the 52nd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2011.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the IDB is the world’s oldest and largest regional development bank. It is the main source of multilateral financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Bank, whose current president is Luis Alberto Moreno, has 48 members with the 26 Latin American and Caribbean borrowing member countries holding a majority of the shares.
The IDB provides loans at preferential terms, as well as long-term, low- or zero-interest loans to governments for projects or sector programs, and grants for technical assistance. It also supports the private sector through direct lending without government guarantees. Canada has been a regional, non-borrowing member of the IDB since 1972.
The Board of Governors is the highest policy making body of the IDB. The Minister of Foreign Affairs sits as Canada’s representative on the Board. At the Annual Meeting of the Board, the Bank and the governors review results, future challenges and goals to ensure that the institution continues to be a constructive, effective and sustainable partner in the region.
Beyond these administrative requirements, the Meeting also provides a valuable forum for the international community to discuss important issues facing the Americas. Regional heads of governments, ministers of finance and development, governors of central banks, as well as representatives from international organizations and financial institutions participate, making the IDB Annual Meeting one of the most prestigious international gatherings in the Western Hemisphere.
Calgary will be only the third Canadian city to host an Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the IDB. Canada hosted the Annual Meetings in 1976, in Vancouver, and in 1990, in Montreal.