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G8 Ministers and senior officials responsible for development cooperation met in Windsor on September 26-27. Our meeting reflects the commitment of the G8 to eradicating poverty, promoting sustainable development and building a more prosperous, equitable, and democratic world for all.
At several international conferences this year in Monterrey, Rome, Kananaskis, and Johannesburg, the international community reaffirmed its support for a new partnership between developing countries and donors – a partnership based on mutual accountability and responsibility for achieving results. Building on these commitments, we discussed the responsibility we have to ensure that our development programs are used in the most effective manner, and to leverage private investments that can produce tangible progress towards the achievement of the internationally-agreed upon development goals in the Millennium Declaration.
We believe that development can only succeed when developing countries themselves lead and manage their own development strategies, focused on achieving the international development goals. Several G8 members have recently pledged to significantly increase their development assistance programs in response to enhanced performance by developing countries. This provides us with a unique opportunity to invest significant resources in country-owned development strategies, as articulated in developing countries' Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, or PRSPs. We will enhance our partnerships with developing countries that are demonstrably committed to reducing poverty and to the principles of good governance and democracy. We agreed that more needs to be done in many countries to engage civil society in these strategies. Donors have an important role to play in fostering such engagement and in building institutional capacity within developing countries.
We are committed to reducing the administrative burden that our development programs may impose on developing countries. At the same time, we must reinforce our focus on results and improve our ability to measure them. We will continue to cooperate closely within the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) to improve the coordination of our aid programs and harmonize our procedures around countries' own systems wherever possible.
As important as official development assistance is, development cooperation entails much more. Our development assistance should contribute to an enabling environment that will increase access to global knowledge and resources. We have a responsibility to ensure that our commitment to poverty reduction reflects a comprehensive approach and that our aid, trade, and investment policies are coherent.
Trade, in particular, can have a profound impact on economic growth and development. We are committed to building the capacity of developing countries to engage and prosper through the multilateral trading system, and we will continue to support the Integrated Framework for Trade-Related Technical Assistance. We also support the development of trade relations between developing countries on a regional basis. We will continue our efforts to support the achievement of development objectives in the Doha Round of trade talks.
Rural development, which includes agriculture, the environment, water-resource management and sanitation are indispensable to poverty reduction and sustainable development. In the context of country-led development strategies, we will ensure that these key priorities receive greater attention and are considered in an integrated manner. We will work to reverse the decline in donor support for agriculture and rural development that has taken place over the last decade. We will use ODA resources to meet the water and sanitation targets adopted in Johannesburg, and leverage greater private-sector investment in this area.
We discussed how we will carry forward the important decisions reached by G8 leaders in Kananaskis. We will work closely with the leaders' Personal Representatives for Africa to ensure the implementation of the G8 Africa Action Plan.
The New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) is an African-led comprehensive plan that lays out a vision to end Africa's marginalisation. It is an offer of partnership between Africans and the developed world. We agreed that the development of Africa will depend largely upon what Africans do, primarily at a national level, to implement the commitments in this comprehensive plan. Our agencies will support their efforts through the G8 Africa Action Plan our leaders announced at Kananaskis.
We thank Wiseman Nkulhu and Kwesi Botchwey, two prominent Africans who joined our meeting, for their perspectives on the African Union, the development of NEPAD, and the peer review process. A credible and functional peer review process, as committed to in NEPAD, is key, but we recognize that such a process will take time to develop with the full support of Africans themselves and that NEPAD is more than the peer review process.
We will work to counter scepticism and cynicism about this new partnership, which risk undermining its success. We are confident in the future of those African countries that take their NEPAD commitments seriously.
We are gravely concerned about the drought in Southern Africa and Ethiopia, and we are responding to these crises. We agreed that international efforts will be successful only with the cooperation of local governments.
We considered the daunting challenge that HIV/AIDS poses in Africa. We took stock of the work of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and the progress that the Fund has achieved in less than a year since its establishment. We agreed on the importance of the Fund to address malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS in a balanced manner. We underscored the importance of complementing the Global Fund through our bilateral programs, in order to build health systems and invest in those interventions that have a proven record of success. We strongly believe that allocations from the Fund should support and respect country-led programs and be results-based. We acknowledged the importance of on-going discussions with the pharmaceutical industry to promote the availability and affordability of life-saving medicines.
We agreed to take a number of steps to implement the recommendations of the G8 Education Task Force, which were endorsed by leaders at Kananaskis. We pledged to significantly increase bilateral assistance to countries committed to achieving universal primary education and gender equality in education. We will also work in partnership with other bilateral and multilateral donors to ensure the successful implementation of the Fast-track initiative in those countries committed to reform and in need of incremental resources. We noted as well the importance of supporting those countries with large populations not in school. Canada has agreed to co-chair a Donors' meeting together with the Netherlands, as called for in the Task Force report, following the Education for All High-Level Group meeting in Abuja, Nigeria on November 19-20.
Looking forward to the Evian Summit in France in June 2003, we pledged to assist leaders in addressing the key development challenges facing the world community. We will also work with other G8 Ministers who, as part of their portfolios, must consider the needs of developing countries.
Source: Canadian International Development Agency
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