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Ministers and senior officials responsible for development co-operation met in Paris on 23 and 24 April 2003. They discussed current priorities and guiding principles of development aid and in particular, water, education, health and Africa. Mr. Camdessus, Africa personal representative for the French President, and Pr Nkuhlu, Secretary General of the NEPAD attended the meeting and provided participants with useful information.
Official Development Assistance : Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen official development assistance. They emphasized that the fulfilment of the very ambitious Millenium goals would require considerable efforts. In addition to strengthening the volume of aid, it would be advisable to explore new methods of funding. In that regard, the UK proposal to create a new "International Finance Facility" aimed at accelerating the provision of grants or concessional loans until 2015, was noted with interest, although an in-depth analysis of its technical and political aspects are needed.
Ministers also highlighted the need to improve the quality and the co-ordination of development aid and reiterated the commitments taken on the question of procedural harmonisation, particularly at the Rome Forum. Ministers also recognized the importance of assisting countries emerging from crises or those with a poor performance record.
Water : Ministers reaffirmed their wish to achieve the millennium objectives relating to access to drinking water and sanitation. They emphasised the extremely positive outcome of the Third World Water Forum in Japan and reiterated their desire to draw up a substantive action plan on water for the Evian Summit. The outcome of the expert panel headed by Mr Camdessus on the question of the financing of water provision was presented. Ministers had a fruitful exchange of views on the way in which such an action plan would be implemented, including through the reinforcement of local institutions, the mobilisation of international organisations and the improvement of follow-up procedures.
Social and human development : the meeting highlighted the need to mobilise further the international community in the areas of social and human development.
On health, Ministers reiterated their wish to make the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria stronger and more affecting. They confirmed their support for the proposal of an international financing conference to be held in July. Special attention should be given to the private sector contribution to the Global Fund, which has not yielded significant results to date. The importance of launching a working group on neglected tropical diseases was emphasized by some delegation, along with the urgency of making progress on the issue of access to medicines.
Polio eradication remains a priority. The G8 countries are called upon to mobilise the resources needed to eradicate polio.
On education, Ministers warmly welcomed recent progress on the "Education for all - Fast Track" initiative and the success of the last donors' conference in Paris on 25 March. The initiative has detailed and stable rules in place and the necessary funding for the first seven countries selected. Ministers judged the initiative positively, while recognizing the need for a continued steady commitment to reach the education goals and to continue to adhere to the principal of the Monterrey consensus.
Africa/NEPAD : Ministers renewed their support for NEPAD. Pr. Nkuhlu presented the latest developments in the implementation of NEPAD, including the peer review mechanism. Ministers warmly welcome this progress. They attached importance to the need to develop African peace keeping capacity and wished to see a substantive review at Evian of the implementation of the action plan for Africa adopted in Kananaskis.
Ministers also expressed the need to be able to predict famines more accurately and to promote food security in Africa. The New York meeting, jointly chaired by France and the United States, in the presence of the Secretary General of the United Nations, highlighted the task of G8 in this field.
On economic issues, Ministers stated their wish to respond to the expectations of African countries in a spirit of partnership, transparency and trust. They underlined their support to the tangible implementation of the African peer review mechanism witch can benefit from the existing mechanisms at sub-regional level in Africa and from OECD experience. Ministers discussed the principal conclusions of the Development Aid Institutions' meeting on 6-7 March in Paris. The Presidency outlined the French initiative aimed at supporting agricultural development in Africa, initiative supported by the E.U. and whose integration in the ongoing multilateral negotiations has been discussed.
Ministers noted that Africa's development should encompass the enhancement of regional approaches integration which offer a wider market to industry and a granter range of possibilities for foreign investment. They hoped that the IFIs would further their work on how to adapt Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers in order to take adequate account of the regional dimension.
Source: G8 Evian 2003
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