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24 - 26 March, Westfields Conference Center, Virginia

FULL SUMMARY NOW AVAILABLE : HTML ball.gif (204 bytes) TEXT ball.gif (204 bytes) PDF

Final briefing

The World Bank's Rural Week met from 24-26 March 1999 at the Westfields Conference Center in Virginia, United States. The meeting focused on the "political dimension of rural development." Over 400 Bank staff, including approximately 100 field staff, plus approximately 50 individuals representing governments and international organizations, including the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), US Agency for International Development (AID) and the European Union (EU), participated in the event.
This meeting was the third such Rural Week. World Bank staff had previously met for eighteen "Agriculture Weeks," but the annual event slowly evolved towards rural issues. The title changed in 1997 to recognize and expand its consideration of the people and communities in rural areas in addition to agricultural issues.
Participants at Rural Week 1999 explored the political implications of the strategies recommended in the "Rural Development: From Vision to Action" program through a keynote speech and a series of parallel sessions addressing eight themes. The sessions explored privatization, decentralization, access to land, access to water and empowerment, among others. Eleven additional panels addressed technical issues such as agricultural education, rural finance, climate change, hazard management, biotechnology and food safety. In addition to the keynote address by Francisco Aguirre-Sacasa, Ambassador of Nicaragua to the US, participants gathered for speeches by Stephen Denning, Program Director, World Bank Information Solutions Group: Knowledge Management Unit, and Norman Borlaug, Nobel Laureate, “Father of the Green Revolution.” Delegates also heard an informal progress report on the Bank’s Operations Evaluation Department Review. An "InfoFair" was held on 24-25 March to showcase knowledge management tools of the World Bank and other organizations.

Photo and RealAudio highlights for 26 March

Parallel session: "Biotechnology: What Does It Mean for the Bank"

Dr. Cyrus Ndiritu, Director of the Kenyan Agriculture Institute
Dr. Cathy Ives, Director of the Applied Biotech Support Project, Michigan State University

Peter Gregory, RDV

Food for thought (RealAudio clip): Norman Uphoff (Director of the International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development at Cornell University) on property rights and biotechnology

Parallel session: "International Perspectives: IFAD, FAO and UNDP"

Santiago Funes, Director of the Rural Development Division of FAO

Parallel session: "Climate Change and Poverty"

Bob Watson, Chair of the IPCC (RealAudio from the session available below)
Charles Feinstein, ENV
Francois Falloux, AFTE1
Michel Simeon, AFTE1
Arne Dalfelt, AFTE1

RealAudio excerpts from "Climate Change and Poverty" :

Part 1 (various speakers)

Part 2 (various speakers)

Parallel session: "Rural Infrastructure"

Bachir Souhlal, AFTR3
Panel: Hans Binswanger (AFTRE), Maryvonne Plessis-Fraisar (AFTT2), Jean-Paul Chausse (AFTRE), Yahiya Bouarfa (IFAD), Christopher Gerrard (OED).
View from the back of the meeting room, which was filled to capacity.

Closing plenary

John Heath, OED
Final thoughts and closing statements by Alex McCalla, Director of RDV
View of the back of the Washingtonian Ballroom during the closing plenary.


Briefing, photos and RealAudio for 25 March

Briefing, photos and RealAudio for 24 March

Agenda of the meeting

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