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Letter dated 26 March 2014 from the Permanent Representatives of Indonesia and Japan to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
We have the honour to transmit herewith the joint statement of the second ministerial meeting of the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (see annex), issued on 1 March in Jakarta.
Launched by Japan in February 2013 in Tokyo, the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development is a process aimed at mobilizing and sharing East Asian economic development experiences and resources for Palestinian development. Its second ministerial meeting was held on 1 March in Jakarta under the co-chairmanship of Indonesia, Palestine and Japan. Participants reiterated their commitment to support Palestinian development through, among other efforts, capacity-building and reinvigoration of the business environment. They also emphasized that the Conference is a useful forum to promote support for Palestinians
We would be grateful if you would have the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly under agenda item 36, and of the Security Council.
(Signed) Motohide Yoshikawa
Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations
Second Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development
Jakarta, 1 March 2014
East Asian countries partnership for Palestine
We, the Ministers, and high-ranking officials from countries in East Asia and Palestine, as well as representatives of countries and international organizations involved in the Middle East peace process and Palestinian development, met in Jakarta, on 1 March 2014, to participate in the second Conference on Cooperation among East Asia Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD).
We highlighted the statement of the President of the Republic of Indonesia about continuing Indonesia’s support for Palestine’s national development, and its struggle to be a sovereign country and a full member of the United Nations. This conference aims to renew continuous commitment to support Palestine so as to ensure that the Palestinians are capable of providing essential services to their people.
We further highlighted the statement of the Prime Minister of Palestine, to reaffirm that CEAPAD epitomizes the very nature of all our aspirations regarding the building of the Palestinian State. The conference should be considered as a journey together that recognizes the importance of Palestinian mobility, supporting the development of our capacity and enhancing our ability to participate within the ever-changing economic global landscape. Through CEAPAD we will continue to build partnerships across economic and political spheres and exchange knowledge. At the end, the Prime Minister expressed his hope that these combined efforts will ensure a better future for the Palestinian people.
At the meeting we:
-Encouraging future cooperation through the existing trilateral cooperation to implement further multifaceted capacity development efforts in Palestine;
-Considering some measures that can be carried out, namely, to ensure Palestinian national ownership of all capacity-building programmes undertaken, to identify capacities and experiences that East Asian countries can feasibly offer, to ensure coordination between the Palestine and international actors in assisting Palestinian development, and to ensure sustainability of the impacts of the programmes.
1. Welcome the holding of the aid coordination meeting and the private sector promotion meeting, and recognize the importance of the attached outcome documents (see annex Ito the joint statement).
2. Welcome the sharing of knowledge on and experiences in East Asian economic, institutional and social development to help the State-building effort of Palestine in accordance with the national priorities.
3. Wish to respond to other needs of the Palestinians in the areas of, for instance, institution-building, community development and financial support.
4. Welcome the contribution in providing the human resources development programmes in the areas that are relevant to the experiences and capacities of East Asian countries, and in line with the Palestine National Development Plan. The list of human resources development programmes for Palestine with target areas is attached (see annex II).
5. Welcome the pledge of Japan, Indonesia and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) on the programmes for promoting private sectors in Palestine (see annex III), and encourage East Asian countries and international organizations to provide programmes in this regard.
6. Highlight that the amount of the pledges made by participating countries and international organizations to support Palestinian development since the first Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development has reached $210 million.
7. Appreciate the initiative of Indonesia to start promoting private sector development in Palestine in five sectors: tourism, light manufacturing, agriculture, information and communications technology (ICT), and infrastructure (based on the Palestinian National Development Plan), through holding the Business Forum and Trade Expo on 1 and 2 March 2014, which provided opportunities to the business network making and exchanges of business missions between Palestine and East Asian countries. In this regard, the participants acknowledge the involvement and contribution of Palestine private sectors, East Asian countries and international organizations to the Business Forum and Trade Expo.
8. Appreciate continuous efforts to implement the trilateral cooperation, bearing in mind the priority areas of assistance in support of human resource development for Palestine indicated in annex II, between Japan and Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia and Japan and Singapore. The participants also welcome the new projects in the following trilateral cooperations: (i) Indonesia and Thailand; (ii) Japan and Indonesia; (iii) Japan and Malaysia; and (iv) Japan and Thailand.
9. Welcome IDB, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development in establishing a mechanism for the CEAPAD capacity-building programmes, in addition to other existing mechanisms.
10. Encourage greater engagement of civil society and non-governmental organizations (NG0s) of the East Asian countries, and call for the next host of the third CEAPAD to invite them to a CEAPAD meeting, to share their experience and give contributions to assist Palestine.
11. Hold working-level meetings among interested countries, in particular the future host of the CEAPAD-related meetings, on an ad hoc basis to follow up measures decided upon and items raised in the previous meeting, as well as to prepare for the future CEAPAD meetings.
12. Invite wider partnership with international organizations that are involved in the independency and self-sufficiency of Palestine and the Middle East peace process and to support the cooperation with international initiatives, including small, speedy grass-roots projects targeted at Palestinian communities and the Palestinian Economic Initiative by the Office of the Quartet Representative. In this regard, the participants appreciate the initial commitment of Japan of $20 million for the grass-roots projects.
The participants reaffirm that the CEAPAD meeting will be a forum to discuss, to exchange experiences and to add value to the already existing initiatives and processes that have been undertaken by countries in East Asia in assisting Palestinian development. Moreover, CEAPAD will serve as an effective tool to strengthen development cooperation among East Asian countries to support Palestinians, including Palestinian refugees.
The participants express gratitude to Indonesia for hosting the second CEAPAD.
Outcome document in support of human resource development for Palestine
Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development aid coordination meeting
1. The participants confirmed, against the backdrop of the recent progress in the Middle East peace process, their strong determination to contribute to achieving peace through the realization of the "two-State solution" based on the relevant United Nations resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative in realizing the sustainable economic and social development of Palestine. In this regard, the participants emphasized that the development of the Conference on Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) enables its participants to play an even more important role in the development of Palestine.
2, The participants expressed their views that the CEAPAD participants would be able to contribute to supporting the Palestinian State-building efforts by sharing their experiences and lessons of their economic development of the past few decades. In this regard, the CEAPAD participants encourage other countries to participate in CEAPAD and to enhance the effectiveness of their assistance to Palestine.
3. In particular, the participants consider cooperation among East Asian countries as a useful tool to support Palestine in the field of human resource development. The participants expressed their willingness to continue sharing their good practices through aid coordination meetings and programmes aiming at achieving more effective and efficient cooperation among the participants. In addition, the participants highly appreciated the efforts made for the bilateral, trilateral and multilateral cooperation for Palestine by the participants in the past.
4. The participants agreed that the CEAPAD aid coordination meeting could function as a forum/platform to coordinate assistance among the participants in human resource development for Palestine through matching Palestine’s needs for assistance with the potential resources of the CEAPAD participants. The aid coordination meeting also facilitates participants to maximize the synergistic effects of their assistance and to avoid the duplication of projects among participants.
5. The participants welcomed the initiative by the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to develop the CEAPAD coordination mechanism in support of technical cooperation for capacity development in Palestine, in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development and the participants.
6. The participants welcomed Palestine’s presentation of the list of priorities in human resource development assistance to the meeting. In response, the CEAPAD participants, taking into consideration the strength and comparative advantage of each participant’s assistance towards Palestine, expressed their commitment to make the utmost efforts to develop assistance projects in accordance with Palestine’s priorities, including the support to Palestinian refugees identified in cooperation with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.
7. The participants agreed to make an utmost effort to set a target number of capacity development activities in support of human resource development in Palestine. The target number set by the participants will be submitted to the second meeting of CEAPAD in 2014 in Indonesia.
8. The participants expressed the importance of holding regular CEAPAD aid coordination meetings to facilitate new assistance to Palestine and to review the progress of each participant’s assistance under the framework of CEAPAD.
9. This forum adds value to, and honours, the existing mechanisms that are currently in place between Palestine and the participants.
Indicated areas of assistance
-The individual sectors in the table above are open to the CEAPAD participants. Members can join or leave the groups according to their own assistance policy.
-The coordination in each group will be carried out through a focal point country to be decided in due course.
Outcome documents of the private sector promotion meeting of the Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development
(a) The first meeting of the Conference on the Cooperation among East Asian Countries for Palestinian Development (CEAPAD) was held in Tokyo on 13 and 14 February 2013, in order to share the needs of Palestine, as well as the experience of the Asian economic development, and to mobilize resources of the participating countries.
(b) The political environment has seen some development since the last meeting, such as the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine on 29 July 2013. While hope for a final status agreement has increased, a stable fiscal condition, a strong economy, trade access and equitable development are necessary in order to achieve a Palestinian sovereign State. A number of new international initiatives are being discussed, and some new donor efforts have been taking shape, since the resumption of the peace talks.
(c) The CEAPAD private sector promotion meeting was convened against that background on 2 and 3 December 2013 in Tokyo. The purpose of the meeting was to find ways and means to strengthen the Palestinian economy and its private sector, as well as to build and enhance business relations between Palestine and other CEAPAD participants.
(d) Participation of India at this private sector promotion meeting was warmly welcomed by Palestine and other CEAPAD participants, and it is welcome to participate in future CEAPAD meetings.
(e) Representatives from the private sectors also participated in the meeting, and enriched the discussions. Representatives from the Governments of Australia, Norway, the United States of America and the Office of the Quartet Representative also participated as special guests.
2. Business environment in Palestine
(a) The representative of Palestine elaborated on the economic situation in Palestine, highlighting the current severe fiscal crisis, high unemployment ratio and slow growth of gross domestic product. To overcome these difficulties, three strategic economic objectives were explained: (i) diversify the economy; (ii) develop an enabling business and investment environment; and (iii) enable and empower institutions to facilitate economic development and regulate markets.
(b) The representative of Palestine presented the progress that has been made by the Palestinian Government to meet the above-mentioned three objectives.
(c) The representative of Palestine highlighted the restrictions on foreign investments in Palestine, especially in Area C and East Jerusalem, owing to the Israeli occupation. The representative, however, also pointed out the tremendous potential available for economic development and private investments in Palestine if the Israeli restrictions were to be lifted and specific enablers put in place. The current political environment and resumed peace talks will hopefully pave the way for windows of opportunity in the future.
3. Summary of discussions
(a) The participants underlined the need to support Palestinian State-building efforts, which must be accompanied by a sound fiscal situation, a diversified economy, a trade-competitive private sector and capable human resources.
(b) The participants expressed their intention to help Palestine in the development of its private sector and to promote investment and trade between Palestine and other CEAPAD participants. Stronger business relations between them are beneficial and desirable for both sides.
(c) The participants shared views on the usefulness of engaging in the following measures for the benefit of Palestine:
-To find ways and means to facilitate private sector businesses
-To study possible financial incentives to induce investment
-To help build Palestinian human and institutional capacity for business promotion
-To help expand the Palestinian private sector’s international networks and its access to international markets
To support Palestinian women entrepreneurship
(e) The participants expressed their intention to explore potential to cooperate with and/or support relevant ministries, organizations, agencies, institutions and initiatives for this purpose. The Chamber of Commerce, the Palestinian Investment Promotion Agency (PIPA), the Palestinian Industrial Estates and Free Zone Authority (PIEFZA), the Palestinian Trade Center (PALTRADE) and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East are among those.
4. Future efforts
The participants confirm that the following are possible actions for strengthening the Palestinian private sector and enhancing economic relations between Asia and Palestine:
Through capacity-building measures, including training programmes, Asian participants will endeavour to share with Palestine the experiences, lessons and know-how of their economic and fiscal policies for private sector development. In view of the need to advance the CEAPAD agenda, the participants welcome the
proposal of the joint initiative moved by the Palestinian Ministry of Planning, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to provide this alliance with a multilateral mechanism to enable the delivery of efficient and effective development assistance to Palestine. The proposed CEAPAD mechanism, in addition to the existing mechanism, is expected to pull together tremendous resources and expertise of the CEAPAD participating country Governments, development institutions, private and civil society entities, and other regional and international partners, and to channel such resources to address priority needs in Palestinian human development.
(b) Enhancing Asia-Palestine economic relations
-The CEAPAD participants intend to hold workshops to explore business opportunities and to find ways and means to facilitate businesses. The Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development, the Ministry of National Economy, the Palestinian Monetary Authority, PIPA, and the Palestinian Chamber of Commerce are among the relevant agencies that will be included in such seminars. All efforts to engage the relevant Palestinian agencies will be carried out through the Ministry of Planning and Administrative Development.
-Indonesia informed that the Government of Indonesia will hold a CEAPAD business meeting and Expo on the sidelines of the second CEAPAD meeting in March 2014.
-The Palestinian officials in charge of foreign investment will be dispatched to Asian countries to induce investment from Asia to Palestine with the support from the receiving countries.
-IDB will consider supporting measures to induce investment and marketing activities in Palestine.
-CEAPAD will explore the possibility of launching a mechanism to facilitate investment and transfer of technology from Asia to Palestine.
-The CEAPAD participants will consider cooperation with ongoing initiatives stimulating the Palestinian economy, including the Jericho Agro-Industrial Park, through encouraging trade, investment and assistance.
-The CEAPAD participants will consider possible concrete steps to develop the Palestinian private sector’s international networks with East Asian business communities.
CEAPAD will coordinate with the international community’s efforts for Palestinian economic development such as the Palestinian Economic Initiative and High Impact Micro-Infrastructure Initiative.
(d) Follow-up and second CEAPAD ministerial meeting in Indonesia
-The discussion in the private sector promotion meeting will be reflected in the upcoming second CEAPAD ministerial meeting in Indonesia.
List of human resources development programme
Indicated priority of assistance
Private sector development programme