H.E. Mr. Nobutaka Machimura
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan
At the General Assembly
14 September 2005
I would like to express my gratitude for the opportunity to address this important meeting.
First, allow me to reiterate one of the fundamental aims of the United Nations, namely, the promotion of social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. In order to attain this aim, Japan is firmly committed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and welcomes the recent trend to increase ODA on a global scale.
At the Monterrey Conference in 2002, the international community agreed that a comprehensive approach to development financing, which encompasses domestic resource mobilization, ODA, and trade and investment, was essential for achieving the MDGs. In line with this approach, Japan, as the top donor country over the past decade, will strive to achieve a strategic expansion of its ODA volume in order to ensure a credible and sufficient level of ODA. I would like to mention just a few of the recent initiatives which I have been personally involved, specifically, my government's intensions to increase its ODA volume by ten billion US dollars in aggregate over the next five years and double aid to Africa over the next three years. Japan is not only increasing the volume of its ODA, but also improving its quality and effectiveness based on the action plan for implementing the Paris Declaration.
Let me explain two approaches which Japan believes important for development.
First, human security, the essence of which is the protection and empowerment of the individual. I believe that the realization of the MDGs has to be accompanied by successful efforts to ensure that people everywhere are able to live their lives in freedom and dignity.
Second, Japan has actively promoted South-South cooperation while respecting the ownership of developing countries and will continue to do so. The New Asia-Africa Strategic Partnership adopted in Indonesia last April is a major milestone in this area, and Japan is committed to making it work. One example of Japan's support for this new partnership is the concept of an Asian-African Development University Network, which we are currently exploring together with other interested countries and organizations.
As we are all aware, now is the time to translate our commitments into decisive actions, and I assure you that Japan will stand together with all other countries to work to improve the well-being of people around the world.