Several civil society organizations have asked the Bangladesh delegation to husband a list of 9 demands, including ensuring ‘1 country 1 vote’ to replace the existing voting weight based on investment size, in the upcoming 46th AGM of the Asian Development Bank in Delhi.
An 11-member government delegation will attend the AGM from May 2-5.
Though ADB has 67 member countries, just 7 led by the USA and Japan have managed to capture 51% of the voting rights allowing them to take any decision over the rest.
This is not at all democratic. Rather they impose many unethical decisions over the borrowing countries like Bangladesh, the civil society organizations said in a press conference held at Dhaka Reporters Unity on Saturday.
EquityBD, Humanity Watch and NGO Forum on ADB jointly organized the press conference where the 9 demands were announced in a written statement read out by HasanMehedi, the Chief Executive of Humanity Watch and member of the forum.
The other demands include ensuring people’s participation and rights during approval process of any project according to the ADB’s policy and Bangladesh Constitution; making public the information on existing ADB projects and outcomes; taking a position against the commercialization of natural resources; denying the pressure on increasing the price of essential services; and protest and deny ADB’s intention of credit business using the issue of climate change and protesting the imposition of the PPP everywhere.
Among others, Syed AminulHoque of EquityBD, RahelaRabbani of KarmajibiNari, ShamimArfin of AOSED, Javed Khalid Pasha Joy of Initiative for Right View (IRV), Mahfuzur Rahman Mukul of BELA and KaziHafizur Rahman of Swabalambi also spoke at the press conference.
Syed AminulHoque of EquityBD said ADB is liable for huge unemployment in Bangladesh along with increased electricity and fuel prices, making farmers dependent on the MNCs historically through the reviled SAPs, followed by the PRSP process through blanket privatization of the state-owned industries, privatizing the electricity and power sector, squeezing the public service sectors and promoting shrimp culture that destroyed the ecosystem.
The speakers also urged the government delegation to take a strong position along with other like-minded countries to democratize the ADB’s governance.