G8 Ministers and senior officials responsible for development cooperation met in Tokyo on 5 and 6 April 2008, together with representatives from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Republic of Korea, South Africa, and from the ASEAN Secretariat, the AU Commission, the OECD, the UNDP, the UNESCO, the UNICEF, the WHO and the World Bank. The meeting was held with a view to giving political input and support to the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV), the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra, the U.N. high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Follow-up Conference on Financing for Development in Doha.
Recognizing unprecedented challenges the world faces today, we reaffirmed our commitment to strengthen our efforts for development assistance and make our aid more effective, and resolved to enhance partnership among G8 as well as with new players in development cooperation. We expressed our concern that according to the recent OECD/DAC publication global ODA in 2007 declined from 2006 to only slightly above US$ 100 billion. We remain firmly committed to working to fulfill our commitments on ODA made at Gleneagles, in particular with regard to doubling aid for Africa by 2010.
In our strengthened efforts, we emphasize that economic growth must be at the heart of any successful strategy for reducing poverty, achieving the MDGs and enabling developing countries to become self-reliant. We shared the view that the private sector is the driver of growth and offers the most effective way to create wealth, jobs and prosperity and can complement ODA effectively in the achievement of the MDGs. Entrepreneurs and small and medium sized enterprises in particular have the capacity to generate employment based growth and sustainable poverty reduction.
At the same time, to realize the goal of halving the proportion of people living in poverty, growth needs to be inclusive and sustainable. In this respect we acknowledge the importance of achieving "human security", which provides individuals with freedom from various threats such as poverty and infectious diseases and empowers them to fulfill their potential, in particular in fragile states and for the most vulnerable people and communities.
We wholeheartedly welcome recent positive trends in Africa on both political and economic fronts. Respecting ownership of Africa for its own development, we are fully committed to supporting African efforts for boosting economic growth through regional integration, developing infrastructure, improving trade and investment environment and increasing agricultural productivity. We also underlined the need to strengthen our partnership with the private sector to accelerate economic growth especially in Africa. We also emphasized the importance of peace and security and good governance as a precondition of development and particularly renewed our support for peace consolidation efforts in Africa. We look forward to the success of the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) to be held in Yokohama from 28 to 30 May 2008. The Conference presents an opportunity for African partners to engage with the donor community. This, together with the engagement of African leaders at the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, will allow us to further mobilize international support for African development.
We are encouraged by the greater role of new players in development cooperation including non-DAC donors, vertical funds, private foundations and the private sector. We recognized that strengthening our partnership with the new players will further enhance effectiveness and impact of development cooperation as a whole. In strengthening such partnership, we shared the view that it is important to promote practical and tangible cooperation with an emphasis on sharing experiences and good practices with each other to enhance the impact of collective efforts. Such cooperation should include policy dialogue and information sharing through fora like the Heiligendamm process, and support to improve aid implementation capacity of the new donors as well as South-South and triangular cooperation.
We shared the view that it is important to address difficulties caused by climate change which undermine the welfare of the global community. Climate change and development are inextricably linked and have to be dealt with in an integrated manner. In particular, it is urgently necessary to assist developing countries, which are most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, in their adaptation efforts. We also commended and expressed our strong support to constructive national efforts taken by some developing countries in addressing climate change. We welcomed various initiatives by G8 countries to assist developing countries' efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, such as the Environmental Transformation Fund announced by the U.K., the Cool Earth Partnership by Japan, and the Climate Investment Funds proposed by the U.S., U.K. and Japan in cooperation with the World Bank. We believe the implementation of these initiatives will contribute to promoting progress in international cooperation towards a flexible, diverse and effective post-2012 framework, in line with the Bali Action Plan under the United Nations framework. In this regard, we recognize the need to seek complementarity of funding as well as coordination of donors on the ground.
At the mid-point towards the MDGs, we acknowledged the pressing need for reinvigorating our efforts and renewed our commitments to continue to assist the developing world to achieve these Goals. We recognized the value of a "participatory approach", in which all key stakeholders, such as governments, individuals, civil society organizations, private foundations, private corporations and academics from developing and developed countries as well as international organizations, work together to address development challenges.
In the health sector, we are committed to strengthening our efforts to tackle infectious diseases. At the same time, we should strengthen health systems through, inter alia, addressing shortage of health workers and to promote maternal, newborn and child health. We welcomed the work done so far by the G8 Health Experts in developing a common framework for action.
In the water and sanitation sector, we highlighted the need to promote good water governance for sustainable use of water resources and called for a review of the Evian Action Plan to measure its progress. We also stressed the importance of capacity and institution building, as well as accumulation and sharing of relevant technologies, know-how and data for effective water management.
In the education sector, we reiterated our commitments to "Education for All" and reaffirmed our support to expand access to and improve quality of basic education. We also underline the importance of developing human resources indispensable for nation-building. For this purpose, it is essential to develop well-balanced and holistic education systems with due attention to vocational training as well as secondary and higher education. We also recognized the importance of a cross-sectoral approach, including Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
Source: G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit official website