Initiative for Development in East Asia (IDEA) Ministerial Meeting
(Outline and Evaluation)

August 12, 2002

1. Date:

12 August 2002 (Mon) (Venue: Imperial Hotel)

2. Participants:

Foreign and development ministers from ASEAN+3 countries. From the Japanese side Minister for Foreign Affairs Ms. Yoriko Kawaguchi (acting as the Chair) and Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Seiken Sugiura took part in the meeting.

3. Significance and Evaluation

(1) The IDEA Ministerial Meeting is originated from an initiative taken by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the occasion of his visit to Southeast Asia in January 2002 to realize a spirit of "act together, advance together" in the field of development.

(2) The IDEA Ministerial Meeting was held against the background that more and more international attention has been paid to development issues since the International Conference on Financing for Development in March 2002 in Monterrey. The meeting, reviewing East Asia's development experiences utilizing Official Development Assistance (ODA) and sharing expertise and lessons, frankly exchanged views concerning the ways for further development of the region in the future. The ministerial meeting finally issued the Joint Ministerial Statement (http://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/kaidan/g_kawaguchi/idea_02/kyodo_s.html, http://www.mofa.go.jp/region/asia-paci/idea0208-2.html), which represents a high-level concerted political will.

(3) Throughout the meeting, recognition concerning new development challenges facing East Asia and the direction for future development in the region was shared on the political level, and a resolve was demonstrated that East Asian countries jointly tackle development issues.

(4) In addition to the aspect of regional cooperation, the IDEA Ministerial Meeting was the first attempt to make a joint intellectual input based on development expertise (international dissemination) to the international discussion on development, such as the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to be held at the end of August 2002, and the Third Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICADIII) to be held in 2003. From this perspective, the delivery of a Joint Statement was most significant.

4. Outline of Discussions

(1) In the discussion, the importance of ownership in development was emphasized, while it was pointed out that it is also important to get the basics (macroeconomy, foreign exchange, and financial policy) right.

(2) Reviewing development experiences, several significant lessons were drawn as follows: that human resources development is a key to development; that linkage through trade and investment is one of the major characteristics of East Asian economic development; that economic reforms will be the engine towards development, and in this process, ODA, trade, investment and finance should all be comprehensively utilized.

(3) It was emphasized that, since 11 September 2001, in particular, such recognition has been deepened that economic development is preconditioned on peace and stability. The region currently needs to tackle issues of poverty reduction and the socially vulnerable, both of which are the negative aspects of globalization, and it was pointed out that also in this area ODA has a role to play.

(4) Discussing the response to development challenges and development cooperation from a regional perspective, the meeting also highlighted ongoing initiatives for regional cooperation. Particularly, in connection with the issue of disparity among and within the countries - an issue of greatest concern of the region - the Initiative for ASEAN Integration (IAI) was cited as an example of an independent ASEAN initiative, and expectations were voiced that the IAI should be strongly supported. IDEA is expected to push forward and propel such regional cooperation. The importance of South-South cooperation and tripartite cooperation in East Asia was also emphasized.

(5) Concerning Japan's ODA, high regards and expectations were voiced from each of the participating countries, and a sustained level of ODA was strongly called for. Japan responded by reconfirming its commitment to development in East Asia, especially ASEAN countries, and stated that while pursuing structural reforms, Japan would cooperate with these countries through utilizing ODA in a transparent, efficient and effective manner.

(6) Other comments from the participants: improvement of market access (in particular for products from the least developed countries (LDCs)); assistance for research and development; North-South dialogue; a concept for establishing an international fund for infrastructure development; good governance at the regional and international level; and regional cooperation toward common standards for goods and services.

(7) The Chairperson Ms. Kawaguchi concluded the Ministerial Meeting as follows:

(a) The importance of ownership and partnership in development. Factors for these were human resources development and capacity building; poverty reduction and consideration for the socially vulnerable; the need to mobilize development resources through cooperation with countries outside the region (Note: In this context the Chair referred to the relevance to information and communication technology (IT) and the World Trade Organization (WTO)); and to promote development in partnership with the international community.

(b) The importance of a comprehensive development approach. Factors for these were: the need to promote partnership between ODA and the private sector (trade, investment and non-governmental organizations (NGOs); the importance of good governance, institutional building, infrastructure building, conflict prevention, transparency and accountability as pivotal factors for effective development.

(c) Complementarity and synergy in development. South-South cooperation and tripartite cooperation were cited as characteristic of East Asia in supplementing and promoting regional cooperation, and that such cooperation has played a role in eliminating disparities among and within the countries in the region.

5. Future Prospects

(1) In order to bring about concrete actions to materialize the common recognitions attained at the IDEA Ministerial Meeting, three measures were proposed and agreed to by the participating countries as follow-up to the meeting: (i) Exploring IDEA Projects (agreed on guidance for identifying future projects); (ii) Reinforcing expert analysis and policy recommendation on enhanced effectiveness of development cooperation and ODA; and (iii) Providing international dissemination (e.g. Introducing the outcome of the IDEA Ministerial Meeting as a Side Event at the WSSD).

(2) Based on the high appreciation of the meeting in terms of promoting further development and regional cooperation, the Chair Ms. Kawaguchi stated that IDEA is very useful in strengthening ASEAN+3 regional cooperation, and that Japan stands ready to continue this exercise towards sustainable growth, development and joint prosperity in East Asia as a whole. These sentiments were warmly received by all participating countries.


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