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World Bank pledges support for ASEAN

In Singapore: Peter L. Stephens
(65) 6324-4612
In Washington, DC: Elisabeth Mealey
(1) 202-458-4475

Washington, May 15, 2008 - Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, ASEAN Secretary General, and Mr. Robert B. Zoellick, President of the World Bank Group, met today to discuss efforts to support the people of Myanmar in the aftermath of the devastating cyclone Nargis.  They also discussed ways to strengthen further the cooperation between their two organizations.

Dr. Surin briefed Mr. Zoellick on the status of the ASEAN initiative to provide assistance to Myanmar.  Mr. Zoellick committed to support the ASEAN Secretariat as it moves forward with its "Coalition of Mercy".  Mr. Zoellick offered the Bank’s expertise in assessing the devastation and planning for recovery.

Dr. Surin and Mr. Zoellick affirmed ASEAN’s and the World Bank’s cooperation on a range of initiatives.  The two organizations are working on a 13-point, joint work plan that includes a closer cooperation in the Greater Mekong sub-region to support the new members of ASEAN, joint research on regional integration, infrastructure development, and climate change.

Dr. Surin and Mr. Zoellick also shared information on food prices and on steps the two institutions could take to address the current food crisis.

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