President of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Haruhiko Kuroda has affirmed the ADB’s strong commitment for a prosperous Asia-Pacific region free from hunger and poverty.

Kuroda made the pledge at the closing ceremony of the 44 th Annual Meeting of ADB’s Board of Governors, which concluded in the Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi on May 6.

At the earlier plenary session, delegates from ADB member nations focused discussions on issues related to growth for all and how to ensure the poorest, especially women and children, benefit from the growth process.

Participants suggested governments should pay more attention to making and implementing comprehensive and sustainable development policies, as well as ensuring economic growth coupled with social progress and equality, particularly hunger elimination, poverty reduction and gender equality.

Many delegates said despite still facing great challenges, Vietnam reaped an array of important achievements in terms of growth, hunger eradication and poverty reduction in recent years, and the country can share its experience with other regional nations.

Having noted the Asia-Pacific region’s huge contributions and leading role in the global economy’s recovery and development, delegates pointed out challenges facing the region, such as high inflation that is threatening its achievements in hunger elimination and poverty reduction, while a number of countries have failed to achieve UN Millennium Development Goals.

ADB delegates agreed that narrowing the development gap among areas, regions and nations and improving the capacity of responding to and mitigating adverse impacts of climate change were also challenges for the region.

They proposed that regional countries improve national-level management, promote the role of the private sector, effectively step up public-private partnerships, improve the economies’ competitiveness, and accelerate regional integration and South-South cooperation.

They also debated measures to increase resources for ADB, considered its mechanisms and policies to ensure equality in development cooperation and put forward priority directions for partnerships between ADB and its member nations.

The participants also agreed to organise the 45 th annual meeting of ADB in the Philippines in May, 2012. The chairmanship of the Governors’ Council for the 2011-2012 term was handed over to the Governor of the Philippine Central Bank./.