Address by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
at the TICAD Ministerial-level Meeting
Akasaka Prince Hotel
3 December 2001
His Excellency Mr. Alpha Oumar Konare, President of the Republic of Mali,
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the host country of the meeting, I would like to extend my sincerest welcome to all of our distinguished guests from Africa and other regions around the world who are participating in this TICAD Ministerial-level Meeting.
In January this year, Mr. Yoshiro Mori, then Prime Minister of Japan, made a first ever visit to Sub-Saharan Africa as an incumbent Japanese Prime Minister at the dawn of the new century, and expressed that "There will be no stability and prosperity in the World in the 21st Century unless the problems of Africa are resolved". Since then, the environment surrounding the international community been very severe, because of the political and economical impact of recent terrorist attacks in the United States.
Even with this situation, it is essential that the international community strengthen its joint efforts against issues Africa is facing, such as conflicts and poverty. We must also continue to move steadily forward with our cooperation for integrating Africa into the global economy. Since globalization is inescapable, we must seek ways to widely share the benefits of globalization, by as many countries and people as possible. From this standpoint, the Government of Japan is determined to address the problems of Africa as one of the most important issues in our foreign policy.
Development of Africa has to be achieved by hands of Africa. In this regard, Japan welcomes the recent adoption by all the African countries of a comprehensive development strategy for Africa, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and the concrete efforts being made for its implementation. I myself had opportunities to meet several African leaders and I have been fully informed of the historical importance of this new development strategy. Its concept is precisely in accord with this principle of TICAD; that is "ownership of African countries and its partnership with international community".
The TICAD Ministerial-level Meeting is the first-ever opportunity for broad range of representatives from African countries as well as their development partners to gather under one roof to exchange views on NEPAD, and we expect that significant results will be obtained through discussions.
In conclusion, I would like to take this opportunity to officially announce the Japanese government's intention to hold TICAD III during the latter half of 2003. In Next year, further progress is expected on NEPAD, and politically, the Organization of African Unity is scheduled to be transformed to the African Union. It is also very likely that African development will be one of the main agenda at G8 Summit Meeting in Canada nest year. And preceding these developments is of course this ministerial meeting. As it leads us to TICAD III, I strongly hope that this meeting will serve as a bigstride forward for accelerating development of Africa.
At the epilogue of NEPAD document, it concludes as follows: "In fulfilling its promise, this agenda must give hope to the emaciated African child that the 21st century is indeed Africa's century." Whether it can be achieved or not rests on efforts of the African countries and the leadership of Africa. And to help unveil the bright future for Africa, the international community must accumulate its wisdom and, Japan, for its part, is resolved to providing utmost support for this effort.
Thank you for your kind attention.
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