In 1993, the leaders of Japan and the United States launched the Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective as a framework for bilateral cooperation, focussing the considerable resources and technical expertise of the world's two largest economies on global challenges. In each of the four pillars of the Common Agenda - Promoting Health and Human Development, Responding to Challenges to Global Stability, Protecting the Global Environment, and Advancing Science and Technology - our two governments have broadened and deepened their cooperative ties, and together have realized over 80 scientific cooperation projects and projects involving cooperative development assistance.
In many cases, the initiative and leadership shown by the U.S. and Japan has catalyzed international efforts, and made great contributions to multilateral programs, such as in the protection of coral reefs, and in the eradication of polio from many regions of the globe. Programs begun bilaterally have caught the attention of other countries, which, recognizing the importance of the effort, decide to join that effort. Two such examples are the ARGO program of autonomous submersible floats that collect and transmit oceanographic data and the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, both of which will contribute significantly to our understanding of earth's ecosystem and global climate change.
One of the most significant developments of our bilateral cooperation in recent years has been the development of new links between government, the private sector, academia and civil society organizations (CSO's or NGO's). Institutions such as the Common Agenda Roundtable (CART) and the CSO Network in Japan, and the Common Agenda Public Private Partnership (P-3) in the United States are actively participating in the Common Agenda. They have provided invaluable grass-roots level input and advice on Common Agenda activities. We expect this partnership between government and civil society actors to become our essential foundation for cooperation in the future, for indeed the challenges we face are so great that governments cannot tackle them alone.
We must note that our cooperation in the field has also strengthened considerably, both between the U.S. and Japanese embassies, and between them and the host government and local institutions. Last month's Joint Project Formulation Mission to Cambodia illustrates the importance we place on gaining the cooperation of all of these actors to formulate strategies based on the precise needs in the field. Following the success of previous missions to Zambia and Bangladesh, the joint mission to Cambodia focussed on linking public and private sector activities to combat HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other infectious and parasitic diseases, and to provide greater support to child and maternal health. Another illustrative example is the cooperation on counter-narcotics among our two missions and the Government of Laos.
The seven years and the eighty projects of the Common Agenda have taught our two peoples new ways to work together effectively and have improved literally millions of lives. It is not only our recommendation, but also our firm belief, that our two countries will continue to cooperate bilaterally and will continue to inspire international cooperation on the global challenges facing humankind in the 21st century.