Opinion: Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, on G8 Development Minister’s Meeting

Opinion: Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, on G8 Development Minister’s Meeting

The G8 Ministers responsible for development cooperation met in Tokyo on 5 and 6 April 2008. We thank the Government of Japan, for their efforts in inviting the ASEAN Secretariat to attend this very important forum for the first time. While providing an opportunity for ASEAN to present its development challenges to the G8 Ministers, the presence of the ASEAN Secretariat at this meeting also signaled a greater commitment on the part of the G8 to enhance partnerships with regional organizations in ensuring that development assistance is more effective. The presence of other developing countries such as China , India , Indonesia and Malaysia at the Meeting is also indicative of a very positive move by the G8 to be more inclusive in its discussions on the direction of global development aid and assistance.  

ASEAN welcomes the decision of the G8 Ministers responsible for development cooperation to strengthen efforts for development assistance and enhance partnership with new players including private foundations and the private sector. The G8 Ministers affirmation provides a very positive message amidst concerns about sliding development assistance in 2007 and global issues such as climate change and increasing prevalence of poverty and its related issues such as health and education.

In particular the G8 Ministers’ acknowledgement on the pressing need to continue to assist the developing world in meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ties in with ASEAN’s efforts in promoting  people-oriented and sustainable development under the Socio-Cultural Community pillar.

The MDGs provide a firm basis for ASEAN to narrow the social and economic gaps among its Member States. The challenge in ASEAN is not only in terms of achieving these goals as ends in themselves but to go beyond  these goals to achieve deeper social and economic integration as envisaged under the ASEAN Community. In this context, ASEAN is now working towards a Roadmap for a MDG-Plus concept where the MDGs will be transformed into the floor instead of a ceiling for human development. Under the Roadmap which is currently being negotiated by ASEAN Member States, concrete activities will be identified to realize appropriately localized and adapted targets for narrowing the development gaps in the region.

ASEAN realizes that it cannot achieve this mammoth task without the involvement and assistance of all stakeholders and donors. We therefore look forward to the renewed impetus by the G8 Ministers to assist ASEAN in narrowing social and economic gaps towards building a dynamic and resilient ASEAN Community.

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One Response to Opinion: Secretary-General of ASEAN, H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, on G8 Development Minister’s Meeting

  1. Milagro mengatakan:

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    Milagro

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