The 21st CAREC Ministerial Conference was held under the title “Revitalizing Regional Cooperation for a Green, Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery” on November 24, 2022. The Ministerial Conference functions as the highest strategy-setting and decision-making body for the CAREC Program. It provides overall strategic guidance and serves as a platform to discuss and address important policy and strategic issues of regional relevance. The Ministerial Conference is held annually and is attended by the CAREC National Focal Points – ministers and high-level representatives of state agencies in charge of the overall planning and decision making. The meeting is also attended by CAREC development partners. During the 21st Ministerial Conference, Ministers endorsed three deliverables: i) the CAREC Post-Pandemic Framework for Green, Sustainable, and Inclusive Recovery; ii) the Cooperation Framework for Agricultural Development and Food Security in the CAREC Region; and iii) the CAREC Green Energy Alliance.
The CAREC Institute shared the background report “Post-Pandemic Framework for a Green, Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery” as one of the key deliverables of the conference. The report was prepared by a group of eminent researchers led by Dr. Hans Holzhacker, Chief Economist of the CAREC Institute. The report calls for building resilience to new shocks, accelerating technological change, promoting human capital development, and further intensifying trade to enable the CAREC region to realize its comparative advantages. The CAREC region is one of the most vulnerable areas in the world to climate change and natural disasters. Food security and protection against natural disasters have become of paramount importance for the region. Now more than ever, countries need to work together to overcome global crises. Regional cooperation will be essential for coping with the challenges of the coming years and must be further enhanced to achieve the required economies of scale and scope.
Mr. Kabir Jurazoda, the new Director of the CAREC Institute, attended the Ministerial Conference and provided an update on the institute’s continued efforts. “As the new director, I would like to ensure that the CAREC Institute continues to bring new knowledge and share best practices among CAREC member countries for green, sustainable and inclusive development and regional prosperity,” said Mr. Kabir Jurazoda. He reiterated that the CAREC Institute will continue to play a crucial role in fulfilling the increasingly growing knowledge needs of member countries. He assured member countries and development partners that the institute will further strengthen its strategic position as the knowledge generator and connector in the CAREC region. He pledged that the institute will undertake cutting-edge research, innovative capacity-building programs, targeted knowledge dissemination, sharing best practices, and forging partnerships to leverage efforts and resources with key implementing partners.
This year’s Ministerial Conference was chaired virtually by the PRC. Mr. Liu Kun, Finance Minister of the PRC delivered a welcome address. And Mr. Masatsugu Asakawa, President of ADB delivered the keynote address. Mr. Xia Xiande, Deputy Finance Minister of the PRC, and Mr. Chen Shixin, Vice President of ADB co-hosted the conference. The ministers and high-level government representatives highly appreciated CAREC Institute’s achievements over the past years and encouraged the institute for more continuous cooperation. Georgia will chair the next Ministerial Conference.