Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD)
February 14, 2013
The Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) was held in Tokyo on Wednesday, February 13 and Thursday, 14. The outline and evaluation of the meeting are as follows. From Japan, Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida participated in a welcome reception, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Shunichi Suzuki was present at the Conference, and Special Envoy of the Government of Japan for Middle East Yutaka Iimura co-chaired the meeting together with Prime Minister of Palestine Dr. Salam Fayyad.
1. Outline of Conference
(1) Date/time: Wednesday, February 13 18:00 – 20:00 (Welcome reception)
Thursday, Feburuary 14 09:30 – 14:30 (Conference)
(2) Venue: Mita Kaigisho, Tokyo
(3) Participating countries and international organizations: Japan (host), Palestine (co-host), Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Brunei Darussalam, Republic of Korea, League of Arab States, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations, U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), World Bank.
2. Significance and Evaluation
(1) CEAPAD is an international conference for East Asian countries to discuss ways of new assistance for and cooperation with Palestine for its nation-building efforts. It was established on the initiative of Japan to back up the realization of peace through the "two-state solution" to the Middle East peace which is the core of challenges in the Middle Eastern and North African region.
(2) While CEAPAD is a framework to encourage Asian countries to make active contribution to the Middle East peace, it is also aimed at helping East Asian countries strengthen and expand cooperative relations among them.
(3) The Conference confirmed the necessity for the mechanisms stated below to continue consultations on the ways for East Asian countries should do to provide their own assistance in a manner fusing their experience in economic development and experience in development assistance.
Holding CEAPAD meetings on a continuous basis. Indonesia announced its readiness to host the next meeting in 2014.
Implementing regular consultations, with participating countries' aid agencies included, for such purposes as research on assistance needs, project selection and cooperative assistance.
Holding meetings of Asian and Arab business leaders with the aim of expanding trade with and investment in Palestine and developing small and medium-sized businesses in Palestine.
Cooperation with the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) and other existing international frameworks for assistance to Palestine.
(4) On the margins of the CEAPAD meeting, a number of bilateral meetings were held among countries and international organizations, contributing to the formation of new partnerships to support Palestine.
3. Contents of Discussions
(1) The Conference opened with a speech delivered by Minister for Foreign Affairs Kishida at the welcome reception. At the beginning of the meeting, Parliamentary Senior Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs Suzuki briefed the participants on Japan's position concerning Middle East peace and on the background of the establishment of CEAPAD.
(2) In the first session of the meeting, Palestinian Prime Minister Fayyad reported on the status of nation-building efforts as well as political and economic difficulties. He was then followed by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Secretary General of the League of Arab States Dr. Nabil el-Aaraby, U.N. Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry and U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi. They gave speeches on the status of assistance for Palestine and future possibilities of cooperation among relevant countries and international organizations.
(3) In the second session, Singapore's Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli Bin Masagos Mohamad, Thailand's Deputy Permanent Secretary Vijavat Isarabhakdi for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives of other East Asian countries explained the status of their respective assistance and plans. They also referred to their economic development experience to share with Palestine.
(4) In the third session, Islamic Development Bank President Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza Mariam Sherman, and JICA Senior Vice President Hideaki Domichi summarized their organizations' assistance for Palestine and explained future possibilities of cooperation with Asian countries.
(5) In the fourth session, participants engaged in discussions on a variety of subjects, including further cooperation by East Asian countries, further commitments to CEAPAD by Asian countries, the role to be played by the private sector and cooperation with the existing international assistance frameworks.
(6) Finally, a joint statement based on the discussions at the meeting was adopted and the meeting was adjourned.