The House of Councillors’ Special Committee on Official Development Assistance and Related Matters (ODA Committee) was set up to carry out research on various issues pertaining to international assistance and cooperation, including Official Development Assistance (ODA) by taking advantage of the specific nature of the House of Councillors under the bicameral system of the Diet on January 20, 2006, on the first day of the 164th Diet.
Since then, the Committee has proactively dealt with research on various issues related to Japan’s ODA, which includes a report that contains seven-point recommendations made in June 2007, followed by the adoption of resolutions in May 2008, July 2011 and May 2013. As such, the Committee has undertaken researches in order to take various opportunities to convey the Diet’s thoughts on the desirable form of international assistance and have them reflected on Japan’s ODA policies.
Japan is making efforts to implement its ODA in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and realize sustainable growth amidst the harsh economic/financial situations in addition to the recovery process of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami disaster in March 2011.
The target date of the MDGs is due this year, and the international community is undertaking discussions, which are in their final stages, to determine new international development goals (post-MDGs) after 2015. Moreover, it has been pointed out that the development challenges are increasingly more diverse, complex, and broader-based and there is a need to increase the role of resources and activities other than ODA and to strengthen cooperation with them. In order to appropriately deal with these issues, for the first time in 11 years, the Cabinet revised its ODA Charter in February this year and established the “Development Cooperation Charter.”
Given such a situation, the Committee reconfirmed the importance of taking sincerely lessons learned and knowledge obtained from experiences dealt with over the past 60-year history of Japan’s ODA through various meetings with experts and specialists, including a question and answer session in the presence of Foreign Minister Kishida, and decided on a Resolution on the desirable form of ODA based on the “Development Cooperation Charter,” with a view to clarifying its thoughts on matters necessary to achieve the goals specified in the Charter through the Government’s implementation of Japan’s ODA and other means.