Friday, May 11, 2001

ADB Conference Logo

ADB ‘green book’
covered all bases

Conference logistics were
laid out in painstaking detail

>> Governors from ADB member nations
take their turns at the podium
>> China, U.S. hold their highest-level
meeting since the spy plane crisis

By Rod Antone

Organizers of the Asian Development Bank conference left nothing to chance when it came to their annual board of governors meeting in Hawaii. According to a 65-page ADB document referred to as "the green book," an administrative plan was prepared for governments hosting the conference that detailed arrangements down to the last wastebasket.

"That green book is our bible; it's a blueprint," said Ian Gill, ADB spokesman. "We take years to plan these things; you've got to have a blueprint."

The green book includes details about everything from hotel accommodations to what kind of furniture should be in each meeting and conference room to security arrangements.

The book states that "government guards will be stationed outside the entrances to the venue for the Opening Session to prevent admission of unauthorized persons and to maintain order."

The green book also said that ADB officials are to be "consulted and fully advised on all ongoing security arrangements."

Last year, the state estimated that the convention would cost $1.3 million, with part of the cost going to the construction of 90 temporary office units for visiting ADB dignitaries. The green book lists the kind of furniture needed for each office.

For example, the president's office should have:

>> an executive table, chair and two visitor chairs.

>> a telephone system with an internal line and intercom line.

>> a three-seat sofa and two lounge chairs with coffee tables.

>> one wall clock.

>> one wastepaper basket.

When asked if all the arrangements were necessary, Gill said, "Absolutely -- it's a monstrous operation. Believe me, these details are very important."

Hawaii Tourism Authority head Bob Fishman said that while the green book was helpful, it was not followed word for word.

"We compromised and improved upon and streamlined," said Fishman. "We didn't get 60 file cabinets like they wanted. We got something else that worked better and cost less."

Fishman said the green book was "designed to be utilized in a developing Third World country" rather than a "polished" destination like the United States.

"We're not trying to be obnoxious, but it's just that there are better ways to do things," he said.

Earlier Star-Bulletin reports stated that part of the ADB's arrangement included not paying the state's hotel room tax. The green book also states that the host government will reimburse ADB officials for:

>> ADB social functions such as the president's reception and chairman's luncheon.

>> the shipment of meeting materials.

>> other expenditures on transactions made by the ADB such as purchase of duty-free liquor, rental of equipment and communication expenses such as telephone and fax.

The green book also provided specific instructions for greeting and meeting delegates. They include:

>> ADB welcoming delegations should be at the airport gate 15 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time.

>> Drivers assigned to pick up ADB VIPs should arrange to pick them up as close as possible to the VIP lounge.

Fishman said ADB costs are "somewhere in the $1.4 to $1.5 million ballpark." The Honolulu Police Department spent an estimated $4 million for riot training and gear.

Asked if all the preparation and expense was worth it, Fishman said: "There's no question. We wanted to demonstrate to the world that we were definitely in the big league, and we did it."

Asian Development Bank

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