Ambassador Fatimie welcomes to Japan H.E. Minister Zakhilwal, H.E. Governor Delawari, attends IMF-World Bank annual meeting

October 9 – 15, 2012: Ambassador Dr. Sayed M. Amin Fatimie had the sincere honor of welcoming to Japan H.E. Minister Dr. Omar Zakhilwal and H.E. Governor Noorullah Delawari of Da Afghanistan Bank. The two gentlemen arrived in Japan on October 9th and 11th respectively to attend the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group and engage in a number of events and meetings. Ambassador Fatimie was able to have the opportunity to spend valuable time with each of the gentlemen, expressing deepest gratitude for their respective roles in bringing development to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, both in terms of economic development and in terms of ensuring the fiscal success of other areas of development and peace outreach. Furthermore, Ambassador Fatimie helped to prepare the esteemed gentlemen for Their sure-to-be successful interactions with the Japanese hosts.

Within this period, Ambassador Fatimie was able to host at the Embassy a reception in honor of H.E. Minister Zakhilwal’s visit on October 10th. The event was also special in another sense as it welcomed visiting teachers from Afghanistan participating in a training program in Japan. Speaking to all participants, Ambassador Fatimie encouraged the attendees to work within their different and yet inter-related areas to ensure the sustainable growth of the nation and to build upon the already strong ties with Japan’s noble Government and people.

On the 12th, Ambassador Fatimie attended along with Their Excellencies, additional members of the visiting delegations, and staff of the Embassy, the IMF-World Bank annual meeting. This is the second time Japan hosted the meetings, the first time in 1964, and marked Japan’s 60th anniversary of achieving membership in the organizations. About 3,000 delegates from 188 member countries attended. Highlights of the speeches given follow:

  • In an opening speech, H.M. the Crown Prince addressed the assembled, expressing gratitude for the support of the international community after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. H.M. also spoke of the honor of having become able to assist other nations as Japan itself was a recipient of aid when it joined as a member.
  • Chairman Riad Salameh expressed gratitude for the host country’s arrangements, and highlighted the previous days’ activities, such as the Sendai Dialogue on development. Other areas touched upon included IMF’s financing commitments to Arab states who have recently had transitions in governance, and announcing that the Millennium Development Goal of halving the 1990 number of worldwide people suffering from severest poverty by 2015 was achieved five years ahead of schedule, thus calling for new goals to be set.
  • The IMF’s managing director, Mdm. Christine Legarde stated that the goals of the IMF and World Bank, as well as member nations, are the same as they were the last time a conference was held in Tokyo: to promote stable economic growth and reduce the disparity between rich and poor. Madame Legarde spoke on the new challenges that the world faces due to shifting demographics of population, and added that increasing public debt in advanced economies could hurt global economic growth. She said to overcome problems, what is needed are accommodating monetary policies, reasonably paced fiscal adjustment, the completion of banking sector cleanups, global ownership of the IMF, and growth that promotes equity, fairness, inclusion, and transparency. Towards this, Madame Legarde said that since the Global Economic Crisis began, her organization has committed US$540 billion, with US$157 of that dispersed; another US$460 will be added to the relevant fund through the help of member states.
  • Dr. Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank, stated that there is a link between poverty, inequity, and injustice, and said that it is thus the world’s duty to eradicate poverty. He highlighted security, justice, and jobs as important areas to address. Stating that only mutual action could ensure that the world prospered as possible, Dr. Kim assured all that his organization is financially ready to help protect developing nations from risk, and eager to provide technical assistance. In this sense, he pledged that his organization would work towards being faster, more flexible, and more inclusive, saying that the World Bank, due to the needs of the world at the time, has been operating as a “knowledge bank,” but that it is now time to transition to becoming a "solutions bank" where it “will work with our partners, clients and local communities to learn and promote a process of discovery."

The Embassy will also host a reception in honor of H.E. Governor Delawari on October 16th.

In His other activities, H.E. Minister Zakhilwal attended on October 10th a meeting with Vice President Hideaki Domichi, in which they discussed Japan’s continuing efforts to cooperate in Afghanistan’s peace and development processes. In particular they discussed the upcoming transition of total security responsibility to Afghan forces, the future presidential election, and such key projects as New Kabul City. It was agreed on both sides that the cooperation is progressing well. H.E. the Minister also attended on October 11th a round table discussion on “South Asia and the Global Economic Crisis: Can Regional Cooperation Buffer Volatility and Enhance Growth.” The meeting was chaired by Ms. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, World Bank Deputy Managing Director, and participants also included Ministers and Central Bank heads from Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The nations spoke of establishing further economic links together and with the world in general, by engaging in shared capitalization on each nation’s strengths. Side meetings were arranged with Ms. Marisa Lago, US Treasury Assistant Secretary; Mr. Massod Ahmed, the IMF’s Director of the Middle East Department; Ms. Nemat Shafik, Deputy Managing Director of the IMF; and with Ms. Indrawati. In each of these meetings, progress on past cooperation was discussed and future avenues of partnership were also considered. H.E. Also attended the reception, along with his delegation and staff from the Embassy, hosted by H.E. Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

During His other activities, H.E. Governor Delawari met with representatives of the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Mr. Ahmed of the IMF, and delegates from the United Arab Emirates, as well as members of private international banks, among others. On the evening of the 16th, a reception was held in honor of H.E. the Governor's visit at the Embassy preceding His return to Kabul. Ambassador Fatimie once again took the opportuninty at the reception to express deepest gratitude for the successful efforts undertaken by Hon. Governor Delawari in His visit and to wish Him success in capitalizing upon this.