Closing Address by Mr. Yoshiro Mori, Chairperson of TICAD III
1 October 2003
Ladies and gentlemen,
On the closing of the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development, I should like to say a few words.
For the last three days, representatives of African countries, development partner countries, international and regional organizations and civil society gathered here in Tokyo have engaged in a serious exchange of opinions concerning Africa's integration into the global economy. The discussion has been truly significant. Each and every opinion expressed here has been based on experiences and wisdom of those of you who are earnestly tackling challenges of African development.
As we continue through the new century, the world is required to deal with different kinds of threats, and it was confirmed at TICAD III that the importance of resolving Africa's problems, which is indispensable to stability and prosperity of the world, is ever more increasing.
Also at the conference we heard Prime Minister of Japan Junichiro Koizumi announce Japan's Initiative for Assistance to Africa in his keynote speech, and development partners from Asia, Europe and America, as well as international organizations, have also presented their concrete actions on African development or their firm determination to support NEPAD.
The discussions on the aspirations of and concrete actions for renewal of Africa, including improvement of political and economic governance, were marked by frank and open self-assessment by the African countries. These exchanges have been a significant result of the conference in light of its objective of bringing together knowledge and experience of the international community for African development.
In addition, in the TICAD Tenth Anniversary Declaration that has been adopted, the significance of the contribution by TICAD over the course of ten years is confirmed, and hopes have been expressed that TICAD will become a platform for bringing together support from the international community to NEPAD. In response, the co-organizers of TICAD have committed themselves to continue the TICAD process in a more institutionalized form and to further expand TICAD partners. And in so doing, a way forward in supporting efforts toward African renewal through NEPAD has been mapped out.
Committed to advance these results, I hereby declare the proceedings of TICAD III, one of the largest conferences on African development, closed, happy to see that its objectives have been fulfilled and all agenda items have been successfully covered.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
In my opening address I mentioned that by releasing all people from threats, we must make the 21st century a brighter one throughout the world. Africa possesses the "heart" to make this hope a reality. I know that in Africa, there is a respect for "humanity," naturally caring about others, sharing a glass of water with unknown travelers, or raising others' children. I know Africa has a devotion to and wisdom for freedom; not only casting off one's own chains but also a willingness to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. . I am convinced that it is this "heart" of Africa which will be the engine to generate an "African wind for the creation of a better world," as Prime Minister Koizumi stated.
Finally, allow me to wish you all a safe journey to your home, and hope that you have favorable memories of your visits to Japan.
The conference now ends, but the new challenges for TICAD towards the future of Africa and the world begin.
Thank you very much.
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