I would like to respond to your news report dated 19 April 2016 in relation to the land reforms being undertaken by the Government with a technical assistance grant from the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
• All ADB activities in Samoa are undertaken only at the request of the Government of Samoa. Samoa is a founding member and shareholder of ADB, and ADB has provided over US$270 million in grants and concessional finance to Samoa in the past 50 years to assist Government-led development efforts.
• The Samoa Observer on 3 October 2014 published ADB’s response to the initial complaints raised.
• At the request of the complainants on this very issue, ADB initiated an independent problem solving process in 2014 under its Office of the Special Project Facilitator. The findings of the process have been made public (http://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/page/42458/sam-final-rar-summary-23-march-2015.pdf), and focus on expanding the consultation process even further. Recommendations are being fully implemented by ADB.
• ADB is an open and transparent institution. If the complainants are not satisfied with the results of the independent problem solving process, they have the right to request a compliance review to assess whether ADB has complied with its own policies and procedures. Such complaints are considered under ADB’s Accountability Mechanism Policy 2012 by an independent panel. To respect the process which the complainants have initiated, ADB will make further comments on this matter only when a determination is made by the independent panel.
I hope that these points may help to provide clarity on these issues, and ADB’s role.
South Pacific Sub-Regional Office
Asian Development Bank