Keynote Address
"New Forms of Development toward the 21st Century which Focus on the Dignity of the Individual"

State Secretary for Foreign Affairs
Mr. Keizo TAKEMI

International Symposium on Development
24 June 1999
The United Nations University, Tokyo

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to begin by thanking all of the experts and scholars in the area of development and Permanent Representatives to the United Nations for taking part in today's international symposium. I would also like to express sincere gratitude on behalf of the hosts of this event to all the many people in attendance here today. It is my great pleasure to discuss with all of you, the topic of "Development: With a Special Focus on Human Security."

Japan is expected to play an ever increasing role in the global community as international society progresses towards the 21st century and the building of a new international order. In assuming this role, Japanese diplomacy will strive towards a fundamental objective of securing the confidence of neighbouring and other countries. It is vital for Japan to express our ideas in a clear manner and to undertake the implementation of concrete policies which are founded on the basis of these ideas. One such idea that we can cultivate is the concept of "Human Security."

As someone who studies international relations including Japan's diplomatic relations, and as one who is partly responsible for setting Japan's current foreign policies, I would like to use this concept as the lead theme for into today's discussions.

(Human Security)

Ladies and Gentlemen,
In recent years the international community has been engulfed by the sweeping changes that have accompanied economic globalization. With the end of the Cold War, the former Communist bloc has been making the transition to a free market economy, while newly emerging developing countries, including various Asian nations, have also entered into the global marketplace. These developments, coupled with the liberalization of trade and investment and rapid advances in information and communications technology, have produced a world in which mass movements of people, things, money, and information are taking place on a global scale and at lightning speed. The globalization was one of the main themes at the Cologne Summit Meeting held recently. Although globalization has helped to bring about economic growth and higher standards of living, it has also engendered an awareness of the existence of problems that threaten human lives, livelihoods, and dignity. These problems include poverty, environmental degradation, and international organized crime, including illicit drugs and trafficking. Additional problems brought about by regional and domestic conflicts have also emerged, such as the danger from antipersonnel landmines and the proliferation of small arms and the involvement of children in armed conflicts. Needless to say, appropriate security and economic policies which consist primarily of responses mounted at the state level will, as in the past, be essential for the resolution of these problems. It is also extremely important, however, that these challenges be addressed from a standpoint that gives full consideration to protecting the interests of individual human beings. This standpoint is found in the concept of "human security."

Within the same view, Professor Amartya Sen, last year's winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, observed that "the process of development is not primarily one of expanding the supply of goods and services but of enhancing the capabilities of people." Professor Lincoln Chen, Executive Vice President of the Rockefeller Foundation, who will be speaking later today at the session on health care, tells us that human security consists of three vital elements: human survival, human well-being, and human freedom.

Thus, there are various conceptions and interpretations of human security. I would like to now stress the importance of "Human Freedom." Human beings inevitably possess a rich potential to live creative and meaningful lives. The wisdom of human beings comes from this potential. This wisdom can only be realized if human beings are provided the freedom to live their lives in a manner where they can assume their own responsibilities. This necessitates that each human being be fully respected as an individual. In this regard, the Government of Japan, under the leadership of Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, has elected to make human security one of the essential principles for the conduct of Japanese foreign policy, with the intention of making the 21st century a truly "human-centred" century.

In the context of human security, the issue of development is extremely important. Especially in the three basic areas of health care, poverty-eradication, and African development. These areas, which are today's sub-themes, are the most basic issues from the standpoint of "Human Security." The area of health care bears directly on human survival, the most fundamental of the three elements that together constitute human security. Poverty, meanwhile, is a problem that lies at the root of a whole range of threats to human lives, livelihoods, and dignity. Africa is the frontier where we must make the greatest efforts in order to build a global community toward the 21st century. However, Africa has, historically, been a disadvantaged continent and now finds itself beset by a host of problems, including not only poverty but also armed conflicts. Japan has been seeking appropriate measures, from the standpoint of Human Security, in order to engage Africa as a equal partner in the global community. One response was our co-hosting of the Second Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD II) last October which again brought "African Development" back onto the world priority list.

I organized this symposium with the view of exploring the possibility of the concept of "Human Security" as a policy idea. Hopefully will be able to deepen and broaden the policy range of this concept and, if possible, find ways to seek out and crystallize some concrete policies. I am also expecting, through intellectual dialogue such as today's symposium, to define new policy approaches in the area of "development."

(Health Care)

Ladies and Gentlemen,
In discussing human security, surely no issue could have greater importance than that of health care. Japan is continuously searching for ways of providing support in this area which correspond to the concept of human security and which reflect Japan's own historical experiences, particularly the formulation of its postwar public health policies.

One of the pillars of Japan's assistance in the area of health care has been the construction of central hospitals in the capital cities of developing countries, for the purpose of raising the overall standards for medical care. While the assistance provided through the construction of these central facilities has been more or less effective in terms of technological improvements and human resources training, our experience has taught us that it has not been enough. In fact, central hospitals constructed in a capital cannot always be used by people living in the rural areas, and poverty and other factors prevent the vast majority of people in developing countries from obtaining even the most basic medical services. We have also learned that it is necessary to strengthen the total system so it enables all people to have access to health care services, including health care education for the people in order to enhance their awareness of availability of various health care services. There has been an increasing international concern, led primarily by the World Health Organization, over the need to make basic health care services available to as many as possible.

It was this concern that led the 1978 Alma-Ata Conference to adopt the declaration on Primary Health Care, based on the fundamental concepts of equity and participation.

In this context, Japan's ODA deals with improvements to health care in a comprehensive manner. Japan provides assistance for the training and utilization of local human resources, in order to ensure the continuous availability of health care services, and also establishes a referral system in the area of diagnostic technology in order to link front-line hospitals in the provinces to central hospitals in the capital. It will also be necessary to provide assistance in the area of operational software. Such assistance, based on the 1987 Bamako Initiative which calls for habitant-participatory methods, includes the establishment of a revolving fund for pharmaceuticals and the assumption of a share of costs by beneficiaries. In addition, to ensure a sustainable supply of medicines and other medical equipment, it is necessary to introduce facilities which can be operated with locally available pharmaceutical and other basic materials. Thus, the effort to improve health care systems in order to provide primary health care requires comprehensive health sector reforms, extending from education policies and industrial policies all the way to the fiscal systems on which such policies are based.

The Asian economic crisis, which was triggered by an abrupt devaluation of the currencies of various Asian nations two summers ago, has demonstrated in tragic fashion the vital necessity of improving health care systems in the manner just described. The middle classes have borne the brunt of the economic crisis besetting various Asian nations, with many people slipping into poverty. As a result, members of the middle class, who did not formerly rely on the public health care institutions established for the benefit of low-income citizens, are now flooding into these institutions, making it far more difficult for the low-income citizens to receive examinations and treatment. Furthermore, these countries have experienced shortages of medicines and other medical equipment, which they customarily import from other countries but now cannot afford, due to the extreme scarcity of foreign currency.

Japan, having rapidly perceived that this was the case, has extended to Indonesia about 4 billion yen of emergency grant aid to provide supplies of essential drugs and so on. This action has been warmly praised by the concerned parties In addition, in an effort to find a more sustainable, longer-term resolution to these problems, Japan led the way for other countries by convening a symposium entitled "Health Initiative in Asian Economic Crisis --A Human-centred Approach--", held last April at the United Nations University. Dr. Richard Jolly and Dr. Triono Soendoro, both of whom are here with us today, took part in that event.

The symposium, which was co-hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Welfare, brought together representatives from developing countries, NGOs, and international organizations, as well as officials in charge of economic cooperation policies from donor nations and other people involved in these matters. In recognition of the fact that the Asian economic crisis was adversely affecting health conditions for socially vulnerable segments of the population, which, for humanitarian reasons, could not be ignored, vigorous discussions were held to try to determine means and ways to respond to the problem. In the end, broad consensus emerged on the importance of improving our understanding of the actual situation facing the socially vulnerable segments of the population in policy making; the importance of donor coordination in managing the crisis; the need to construct sustainable and strengthened systems; the importance of adopting a comprehensive approach to addressing health care problems; the need to tackle broad social and economic problems such as poverty; and the need to work in concert with NGOs.

Recent international cooperation efforts in the area of health care, have been done to ensure the provision of adequate health care services to individuals who are considered socially vulnerable segments of the population such as poor people, women, and children. These efforts include, when necessary, ensuring the services are located in accessible locations. In this regard, I get a strong sense that the human security viewpoint really is needed after all.

(Poverty Eradication)

Ladies and Gentlemen,
While economic globalization has certainly brought about a higher standard of living for many people in many different countries, it has also enlarged the gap separating its beneficiaries from the people and countries that have been left behind. Poverty is a force that strips human beings of their potential and this applies as well to human survival, human well-being, and human freedom. It is essential, in this sense, to eradicate poverty, and for that purpose it is necessary to have sound macro economic policies to stabilize national finances by achieving economic growth and rationalizing public investment, and to raise the national savings rate in order to allow for productive investment which creates new jobs. Various forms of international assistance required, from supplying the economic infrastructure that constitutes a prerequisite for growth to drawing up the various rules that make it possible to set up a market economy. Japan, from its own experience, realizes the effectiveness and necessity of international support for economic development, having secured such essential infrastructure as Tomei and Meishin expressways and the Fourth Kurobe Dam with loans from the World Bank. Needless to say, economic growth, although necessary, is not enough to eradicate poverty as it is also indispensable to deal actively with social development priorities such as education and health. Japan is both grateful for the support it received in the past and proud of its own self help efforts, and we are determined to continue to strive to provide economic assistance of our own in the future.

Lately, the problem of debt relief of heavily in debted poor countries, which has special relevance here, has been placed in the spotlight. Self-help efforts on the basis of sound economic management are, needless to say, entirely necessary, but a vicious circle has developed in which precious foreign currency that could be used to increase a country's domestic productivity to enhance social development goes instead to repay loans. It is essential to somehow break out of this cycle. Japan has submitted a new proposal, including a 100% reduction of bilateral ODA loans to HIPCs (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) which exert their own self-help efforts to implement painful structural adjustments, with the international acknowledgment of the necessity for such action. Debt relief initiatives were agreed at Cologne Summit Meeting, and Japan shall actively participate in these initiatives, while attaining fairness of burden sharing, in order to lead the HIPCs towards long-term sustainable development.

Even more important, however, is eliciting capital flows from global commerce and finance to developing countries. To do so, it is essential to secure a smooth flow of international funding, and that requires bilateral and multilateral donors' cooperation as well. In this context, I welcome the vigorous exchanges of views that have taken place lately between the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions, and I look forward to the further development of their dialogue. In addition, thorough discussion is necessary, particularly on the "Comprehensive Development Framework" advocated by Mr. James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, to provide an accurate understanding of the level of development cooperation including capital flows to developing countries.

While recognizing the basic importance of creating conditions that are conducive to the formation of markets and systems, our ultimate objective in the effort to combat poverty should be at "individual ownership." It is necessary to provide a person with a broader range of choices that can be made independently, so that individual ownership can take hold. In this sense, we should begin to respond to the problem of poverty through assistance to enhance individual ownership within the global market economy. In other words, it is necessary to create the requisite conditions to enable individuals to fully realize their potentials within the economic system. For this purpose, individuals must be provided with opportunities for education and professional training so that they can become independent and support themselves. In addition, it is essential to provide for the availability of the sort of funding, something like micro-credit financing, that would enable a person to become self-reliant by operating his or her own small-scale farming operation or another type of small-scale business. Comprehensive strategies are also needed to ensure the availability of social services, including the establishment of a social safety net that incorporates provisions for the welfare of people living in absolute poverty.

Sound health, of course, is a prerequisite for everything else, as was pointed out in the discussions during our first session. Today, we will hear about actual activities and issues arising in the field from our highly experienced participants.

(African development)

Ladies and Gentlemen,
On April 30, I attended the first meeting of the state parties to the Ottawa Convention, which was held in Maputo, Mozambique, and from there I went on to visit the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Tanzania. On my travels I felt a new wind is blowing across Africa. In the aftermath of the Cold War, it is evident that democracy and market economics are making steady progress, and active nation-building can be seen to be producing results. So-called Afro Optimism is truly manifesting itself. It is true that various parts of Africa still face a host of problems that must be addressed, including continuing poverty, unceasing regional conflicts, parasitic insects, and the infectious diseases. Nevertheless, I obtained a firm conviction that the people of Africa would definitely overcome these problems and claim their rightful place as equal partners within the global community.

The Second Tokyo Conference on African Development (TICAD II), co-hosted last October by the UN, the Global Coalition for Africa and Japan, provided an opportunity to share a recognition that the potential of the African people must be exploited to the greatest possible extent, under a comprehensive approach based on African ownership, with an understanding that the international community must participate in Africa's development on the basis of an equal partnership. I believe that this conference, including the preparatory process, reflected a great deal of democratic consensus-building and a full respect for African ownership. It also contributed to the formation of an equal partnership with international organizations and the nations of Asia, Europe, and the Americas. TICAD II resulted in the adoption of the Tokyo Agenda for Action, which set forth specific, action-oriented guiding principles for African development, as well as the drawing up of a list of roughly 370 specific ongoing and pipeline development programs/projects for aid to Africa.

I myself served as the chairman when the Tokyo Agenda for Action was discussed. The Tokyo Agenda for Action refers to a strengthening of coordination among the donor countries, promoting regional cooperation and the integration within Africa, and expanding of South-South cooperation, including cooperation between Asia and Africa. Placing a cross-cutting emphasis on capacity building, and national system-building, as well as a concern for gender mainstreaming and environmental management, the Agenda also sets forth specific cooperation areas. These encompass social development, including education, health and the participation of women in social and economic activities, and economic development, including agriculture, industry, and private sector development, as well as good governance, conflict prevention and post-conflict development, as basic foundations for development.

TICAD II provided Japan with an opportunity to announce its intention to provide support to Africa in the fields of education, health care and water supply at a value of about 90 billion yen over the next five years. Japan unveiled a variety of other assistance programs as well, including the establishment of an Asia-Africa Investment Information Service Centre, holding an Africa-Asia business forum, and a capacity-building project with a focus on debt management.

From now on, it is very important that concrete actions steadily accumulate in accordance with the Tokyo Agenda for Action. Here again, it is essential for the people of Africa to achieve individual ownership. It is important to promote development in agriculture, tourism, small enterprises and trade investment by African people, in a manner appropriate to African situation on the basis of social development in areas such as education and health care. One of the key points in this process is that Africans should work together, not only with donor nations and international organizations, as in the past, but also with people in Asia, having experienced the lessons of development themselves.

Today we are fortunate to have with us officials responsible for development policies and Permanent Representatives to UN of African countries, as well as Permanent Representatives to UN of the donors and Asian countries who are Africa's partners in development. We would like to hear from them about the issues that arise in the field.

(Form of International Cooperation)

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I have been highlighting proposing briefly points of today's discussion which focus on policy implications in the area of development from the stand point of "Human Security." I expect today's discussions serve as an occasion to study a new form of international cooperation.

One important point to be made here is the diversification and stratification of the players in the international community. On one hand, it is more and more essential to respect the individuals not merely from the standpoint of a beneficiary but also as a full-fledged players in the game in the so-called era of province or civil society. In this regard, nothing is more important than the empowerment of women as independent individuals in every domain, extending from health care and anti-poverty efforts to African development.

On the other hand, given the various interrelated problems that now transcend national borders, there has never been a greater need than today to strengthen and coordinate the roles of donor nations, developing countries, and international organizations, in addition to individuals acting as players in their own right.

With these considerations in mind, I believe that two factors will hold the key to development in the future: strengthening the role and the function of NGOs as gathering points for the individual and strengthening of the United Nations as the central institution for dealing with the changes brought about by globalization.

A large number of NGOs, some of them representing Japan's younger generation, are currently taking action on a number of fronts. This includes assistance for the refugees from Kosovo as well as other humanitarian and development-related causes, all in an effort to pass along the task of providing assistance down to the individuals who are truly needs it, and propelled by the initiative of individuals. The sort of finely detailed activities required from the standpoint of human security would be impossible without the involvement of such NGOs. I am convinced that it will be utterly essential to make full use of the knowledge and powers of NGOs in order to pave the way for tomorrow's world.

The problems relating to human security are becoming increasingly complex, and in responding to these problems it is absolutely essential to provide assistance by means of a comprehensive approach within a framework of an equal partnership among recipient countries, donor countries, international organizations, and NGOs which address the so-called gap between humanitarian assistance and development assistance and so on. For this to occur, someone must assume the role of setting an agenda for the international community as a whole and coordinating its activities. In my view, no institution is better qualified to accept this challenge than the United Nations, given the universality of its 185 members and its wide-ranging authority over not only political security issues but also issues related to development, human rights, humanitarian affairs, the environment, and social development in general.

Japan has established a Human Security Fund at the United Nations Secretariat, as advocated by Prime Minister Obuchi, for the purpose of mounting a response to the various new challenges confronting the international community. If the United Nations is able to use this fund to ensure respect for individuals and, at the same time, to fulfil its role as the coordinator of international activities, this will serve as a milestone in affirming the effectiveness of the United Nations in the 21st century. It goes without saying that the member nations must also make constant efforts to improve the organization in order for the United Nations to continue to be an international institution possessing both universality and legitimacy in the future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
The term "human security" sounds good as it attracts broad attention on the related issues. The term, moreover, has broad meaning and is ambiguous, so the mere existence of the term provides no guarantee that there is any real meaning behind these words. But if we join hands and put our backs into the work before us, in the field of development and in other fields as well, and see our efforts pay off in a gradual accumulation of positive accomplishments, this in itself will give real meaning to the words "human security."

As your host, nothing could give me greater pleasure than to know that, through today's discussions, the circle comprising the coordinated, worldwide efforts of countries, international organizations, NGOs, and individuals to achieve human security has expanded, even by a little.

I would like to conclude by once again expressing my sincere gratitude to all the people who worked so hard to organize this symposium and to all who participated as well.

Thank you very much.

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