Asia 2015 (Promoting Growth, Ending Poverty)

International Development written statement – made on 9th March 2006.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn The Secretary of State for International Development

On 6–7 March, the Department for International Development co-hosted, with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, an international conference on the development successes in Asia and challenges facing the continent in the coming decade. It followed on from the development commitments made in 2005 at the G8 Gleneagles Summit and UN Millennium Review.

The conference "Asia 2015: Promoting Growth, Ending Poverty" was attended by ministers of finance, planning and development, senior government officials, the private sector, NGOs, academics and other members of civil society from South, East and South-east Asia. Delegates were welcomed by the Prime Minister and the keynote speech was given by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shaukat Aziz.

Asia is changing. In the past few years, it has achieved notable development success, with more people having been lifted out of extreme poverty than at any other time in history. Yet there remain immense challenges. Over 650 million Asians, two thirds of the world's poor people, still live on less than $1 a day.

The conference discussed the practical steps required to eliminate extreme poverty in Asia within a generation—to make poverty history—and how to achieve all of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

Participants discussed sustaining and spreading high rates of economic growth, overcoming environmental and infrastructure constraints, harnessing the dynamism of the private sector, connecting poor people to economic opportunities, overcoming discrimination and social exclusion, access to basic services such as health, education, clean water and sanitation, and the need for effective governance.

The conference also discussed how to make partnerships more effective, in which aid is only part of the solution.

DFID and the other co-hosts will be considering the results of the conference for their future development relations in Asia.

A copy of the co-chair's conclusions will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses. Further information on the conference and background documents are available on