Provisional Translation (Check against Delivery)
Opening Remarks by Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi,
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan,
at the WSSD Side Event on the Initiative for Development in East Asia (IDEA) Ministerial Meeting
(September 1, 2002, at Japan Pavilion)
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
I am greatly honored to introduce to all of you gathered here today the Initiative for Development in East Asia, a new endeavor in the field of development by Japan and the countries of East Asia, and to share our achievements with the audience. I would also like to express my appreciation to Dr. Dante B. Canlas, Director-General of the National Economic Development Agency (NEDA), the Republic of the Philippines, and Dr. Zephirin Diabre, Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), who are joining us as commentators.
On August 12, foreign and development ministers from ASEAN + 3 countries gathered in Tokyo for the Initiative for Development in East Asia (IDEA) Ministerial Meeting. First of all, I would like to explain the significance of this meeting for East Asian development. And then what implications it could have for African development and for international development strategy will be briefly touched upon.
2. Significance of the IDEA
(1) Significance of the IDEA for East Asia
From the 1960s to the 1990s, the region of East Asia achieved remarkable economic growth, once described as the "East Asian miracle." After overcoming the Asian financial crisis in the later 1990s, this region is still making development efforts in pursuit of further prosperity. The IDEA emerged against such background. The purpose of the IDEA is to identify current development agenda that the region should now tackle, to review development efforts in the past in order to highlight the aspects that can be utilized from now on and other aspects that need to be supplemented. Under the IDEA, the role of the official development assistance (ODA) is revisited, responses to current issues from regional perspectives at a high political level will be examined. Finally, the direction and potential of regional development will be identified.
(2) Significance of the IDEA for other regions, including Africa
At the IDEA Ministerial meeting, the participants agreed that it would be meaningful for the East Asian countries to cooperate in disseminating to international audience our development experience and expertise, coexisting with diversity within the region, because such experience and expertise can be useful for the development of other regions. Japan already has proclaimed internationally the effectiveness of development methods that were put into practice in East Asia, such as the transfer of appropriate experiences and technologies through South-South cooperation. Since these efforts have now been supported at the IDEA Ministerial Meeting, it is hoped that this process will be promoted so that development know-hows and strategy useful for cooperation for Africa or further internationally can become even more diverse and plentiful.
3. Outline of the IDEA Ministerial Meeting and Joint Ministerial Statement
(1) Importance of ownership and partnership in development
Participants at the IDEA Ministerial meeting echoed that self-help efforts (ownership) would continue to be important in development, and, in this connection, many participating ministers stressed the importance of human resources development and capacity building. Participants also showed an interest in partnership whereby the international community supports development based on the diverse national conditions and development needs of the developing countries.
(2) Comprehensive development approach
Next, recognizing that the economic development of East Asia has advanced through strong linkage with trade and investment, the participants reaffirmed the need for a comprehensive approach encompassing the private sector, so that ODA on the one hand and trade, investment, and finance on the other are utilized in a holistic manner, while the economic reform is promoted as an engine of growth.
(3) Establishment of environment for effective development
Furthermore, remembering the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11th last year, participating ministers to a considerable degree shared the importance of ensuring peace and stability as a premise for development. In addition, many participants referred to the need to establish an environment for the realization of effective and stable development in the medium and long term. This environment would include such factors as good governance, institutional and infrastructure building, and conflict prevention.
(4) Response to globalization
A response to globalization as a development issue was of interest for a number of ministers in the region. In particular, as a response to the negative aspects of globalization, importance of addressing poverty reduction and due consideration to the socially vulnerable was emphasized.
(5) Efforts to tackle regional issues (eliminating regional disparity)
In East Asia, prompted by the Asian financial crisis, regional cooperation to tackle development issues region-wide has made progress in recent years. In particular, attempts have been made to positively define the roles that each country in the region can play for addressing regional disparities, the biggest concern of ASEAN countries as they move for further integration. The Initiative for ASEAN Integration or IAI, which centers on support for the less developed countries among ASEAN is a good example. While bearing in mind not only ODA but also the mobilization of private resources, it was confirmed that the need to further promote regional cooperation as a means for the entire region to muster strength to tackle development issues.
As stated in the Joint Ministerial Statement, the participants agreed at the IDEA Ministerial Meeting to further examine the effectiveness of the East Asian development approaches and, if these approaches are useful for the development of other regions, to cooperate in the dissemination of these approaches globally. This symposium would indeed be the first step in the efforts in this direction. In the second session, with the cooperation of Professor Izumi Ohno from Japan and other leading experts, as a case study, the development approach and development cooperation in Vietnam will be introduced. On the basis of our cooperative relations with the countries of East Asia, which have been further solidified through the IDEA, Japan would like to promote efforts for global knowledge sharing and to contribute to finding various approaches to the effective and feasible way of development in all regions around the world, including Africa.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Back to Index