"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Chair's Summary (Inclusive and Resilient Society—Contribution of TICAD to the MDG Processes)

[Date] March 17, 2013
[Source] Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan
[Full text]

The following section provides the summary by the chairperson of the plenary session on "Inclusive and Resilient Society—Contribution of TICAD to the MDG Processes". The plenary discussion was informed by two remarks made by Dr. Tegegnework Gettu, Directors of UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa and Assistant Secretary General; and Dr. Maxwell Mkwezalmba, Commissioner for Economic Affairs of the African Union. The key note remarks and discussion focused on how to accelerate the implementation of MDGs by 2015 and how to enhance Africa's perspectives and priorities to be reflected in post-2015 process.

I. Using existing political will and cooperation between African countries and TICAD through Public-Private-Partnership, and by using the TICAD follow-up mechanism will strongly contribute to the efforts of boosting economic growth in order to reduce, and ultimately eradicate, poverty; infrastructural development; empowering farmers as economic actors; building inclusive society (through, among other things, by increased investment in primary education, gender equality, universal health coverage, and water and sanitation); and consolidating human rights, peace and good governance. TICAD could advocate Africa's development agenda in the processes leading to the culmination of consultation on post-2015.

II. The issue of MDGs is not something that stops at the end of 2015. However we have to always think beyond MDG 2015 i.e MDG plus other emerging issues, such as climate change, manufacturing and industrialization, infrastructure development, trade and investment, sustained growth and youth employment, decent jobs, renewable energy, population dynamics, and capacity building and skills development to address the overall development needs of Africa as reflected in the African Development Objectives endorsed by AU.

III. Eradication of poverty (not reduction only) must be a key objective in TICAD five and the MDGs beyond 2015. There are plenty of lessons to learn from, for example China, Brazil, India—and other countries which have lifted millions of people out of poverty within short period of time. There must be similar determination in Africa to eradicate poverty with a close cooperation between TICAD and Africa. TICAD and African commission should strengthen the cooperation along with UNDP, the World Bank, OSSA and other partners. There are ample cases of decline in poverty in Africa as well, though the degree of poverty reduction remains minimal.

IV. MDGs Acceleration Framework can be used as an instrument to speed up the achievement of the lagging MDGs within the remaining period. There are about 24 countries in Africa, which have integrated MAF into their National Development Plans, with UNDP's help. This effort has to continue with the cooperation of all.

V. There is a need to respect the priorities of Africa and ensure coherence between different global and regional processes. It is important to ensure coherence between the initiatives such as the Rio + 20 (sustainable development goals), and the post-2015 development agenda. Follow-up mechanisms for such global processes need to pay attention to the priorities of Africa. TICAD processes can be used to strengthen voice of Africa, so that its priorities are properly reflected.

VI. There is an understanding that significant progresses have been made in achieving MDGs. There is also an appreciation of the fact that despite these commendable achievements, challenges remain in selected MDGs. There is therefore a sense of urgency in ensuring that we exert maximum effort to achieve targets within the remaining time period.

VII. Ensuring elements of human security are the guiding principles and that they are part and parcel of the MDG achievement and post-MDG interventions is important. Human security is essential to achieve sustainable growth. In this regard, post-2015 development goals should include disaster risk reduction, access to health and quality education, in addition to the goals that prominently feature in the current MDGs.

VIII. Building resilient and inclusive society is critical. Addressing poverty is possible if we realize inclusive economic growth. This is much more than achieving the MDG targets. In this regard, empowering women and youth, social protection, ensuring equity and social inclusion are emerging issues that need to be reflected in the TICAD V Action Plan. The issue of small island states and development of new goals and targets that reflects their realities including climate change and disaster risk reduction and preparedness needs to be taken into account in the action plan.

IX. Focus on economic growth is important to achieve MDGs in sustainable manner. Even in those areas where significant progress was made in achieving MDGs, sustained economic growth is important to make the achievements sustainable. Aid should be used as a catalytic tool to achieve the goals but economic growth is important to sustain them.

X. Development of statistical database is important for evidence-based decision-making. This is important to critically evaluate the extent to which we are making progress and to chart the way forward.