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Press Release

Revision of Japan's Official Development Assistance Charter

August 28, 2003

Revision of the Official Development Assistance Charter will be approved by the Cabinet on August 29, following the meeting of the Ministerial Council on Overseas Economic Cooperation on August 28. This is the first revision in the eleven years since the Charter was first approved in June 1992. Environmental problems, including global warming, are considered one of the four priority issues in the Official Development Assistance (ODA) program.

Due to changes in the situation since the Charter was first approved, including advancement of globalization, severe economic and financial situations, and diversification of parties involved, the Charter was revised, adding new concepts such as "human security" and "peace-building." The gist of the revision is as follows.
(i)    Clarify the philosophy of ODA by adding the security and prosperity of Japan to the common values such as humanitarian intent.
(ii)    Review and correct system of formulation of ODA policy which has based on the request principle.
(iii)    Asia continues to be a priority region.
(iv)    Peace-building is a priority issue in addition to addressing global issues, sustainable growth, and poverty reduction.
(v)    Enhance strategic value, flexibility, transparency, and efficiency in the implementation of ODA.
(vi)    Identify the broad participation by Japanese citizens from all walks of life, popularization of development education, information disclosure, and enhancement of public relations as ways for gaining understanding and support for ODA.

Revision of the ODA Charter viewed from the Environmental Perspective The environment is one of the global issues in Priority Issues. Integration of environment and development continues to be the first Principle of ODA Implementation.
The environment is emphasized as an important standpoint. It is explicitly described in the paragraph of Assurance of Fairness under Basic Policies and in Ensuring Appropriate Procedures under Matters Essential to Effective Implementation. Specifically, it is described as follows:
(i)    Under Objectives, the environmental issues are recognized as one of the important issues faced by the international community. The environment continues to be considered one of the global issues that should be addressed in order to achieve sustainable development.
(ii)    In Assurance of Fairness under Basic Policies, the "environmental impact on developing countries" is described as a factor to which great attention will be paid in the implementation of ODA.
Furthermore, the phrase "Japan will utilize its own experience in economic and social development" in the paragraph of Utilization of Japan's Experience and Expertise suggests its experience in achieving environmental conservation and economic growth in tandem, although Japan's experience in environmental conservation is not described explicitly.
(iii)    In Addressing Global Issues under Priority Issues, "global issues such as global warming and other environmental problems" are listed as one of the global issues for which the international community should make immediate and coordinated efforts to seek a solution.
(iv)    Under Principle of ODA Implementation, a phrase "environmental conservation and development should be pursued in tandem" is again listed as the first item, as in the existing Charter.
(v)    In Ensuring Appropriate Procedures under Formulation and Implementation of ODA Policy, it is stated that procedures should be adopted to ensure full consideration be given to the "environmental and social impact" of implementation of ODA.

*   Revision of Japan's Official Development Assistance Charter

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