The Governments of Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States convened high-level leaders for a Trilateral Development and Humanitarian Assistance Policy Dialogue at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i, October 29-30, 2023. Our discussions built and delivered on commitments made during the Trilateral Leaders’ Summit – hosted by President Joseph Biden at Camp David – on August 18, 2023.
Together, we affirmed a shared vision to address global issues and promote values that advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the freedom, peace, and prosperity of partner countries around the world. As fierce defenders of democratic values, human rights, and inclusive economic prosperity, our three nations committed to enhancing development and humanitarian assistance cooperation to collectively overcome global challenges and address the root causes of insecurity, poverty, and disaster vulnerability.
We took an important step forward to strengthen and more closely align development and humanitarian assistance policies and cooperation globally as true partners. The most pressing issues of our time are deeply interconnected, including the climate crisis; accelerating global hunger; the public health and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic; and slowing, stalled, and inequitable economic development that contributes to social instability.
Global crises further exacerbate poverty and instability with ripple effects felt worldwide. Russia’s aggression against Ukraine has worsened long-standing economic challenges and threatened the integrity of the rules-based order. Further, we unequivocally condemn the recent terror attacks perpetrated by Hamas and share the need to swiftly respond to a deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
These issues cannot be addressed by any single country alone. Working together, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States can use our comparative advantages strategically to create transformational opportunities in sustainable development and advance freedom, peace, and prosperity globally.
At this midpoint of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda), Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States emphasized their commitment to full implementation of the 2030 Agenda both at home and abroad. Following the September 2023 SDG Summit in New York, we discussed a renewed focus on achieving the SDGs as the most promising and inclusive path toward reversing troubling global trends and improving the lives and well-being of people around the world.
We intend to pursue commitments to revitalizing international cooperation and strengthening multilateralism to meet the needs of partner countries in a comprehensive manner, including through the 2030 Agenda and locally led development, taking into account the Donor Statement on Supporting Locally Led Development and other international commitments. Our collaborative efforts aim to address and overcome these challenges by working directly with communities.
Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States committed to development efforts that address underlying destabilizing factors that can lead to violence and threaten peace, including resource scarcity, lack of economic opportunity, weak governance or corruption, and the marginalization of specific groups. By doing so, we can ultimately contribute to preventing conflicts and alleviating fragility. Recognizing that development is an essential pillar of our respective countries’ foreign policies, we committed to invest in advancing prosperity, health, and basic dignity to create a more stable and peaceful world for all.
We are deeply concerned about the rollback of women’s and girls’ rights, particularly in times of crises, and highlighted the leading role of women in preventing violent conflict, delivering relief and recovery efforts, and forging lasting peace. We pledge to champion the full, equal, and meaningful participation of women in peace and political processes as well as women’s economic empowerment.
In pursuit of promoting and building on the Camp David Leaders’ Summit, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States reaffirmed their commitments to a free and open Indo-Pacific by promoting our development cooperation while pursuing respect for international law, shared principles, and common values in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond. We are in lockstep on the importance of advancing an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet; a vibrant digital economy including artificial intelligence, industrial innovation, and financial inclusion; quality infrastructure; ambitious efforts to achieve our 2030 climate goals; and increased connectivity to spur sustainable economic growth. We are committed to partnering closely with ASEAN to advance implementation and mainstreaming of the ASEAN Outlook in the Indo-Pacific. We are also determined to work closely with Pacific Island countries and the Pacific Islands Forum as that region’s leading institution, consistent with the Pacific Way.
In the Indo-Pacific and beyond, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States, including their development agencies, identified several important areas of joint focus and cooperation, including agriculture; youth entrepreneurship; healthcare; gender, including the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda; and implementation under the Power Africa memoranda signed bilaterally between Japan and the United States and the Republic of Korea and the United States. We committed to using these specific activities to build broader opportunities for cooperation.
Our countries will further strengthen robust and collaborative actions that mitigate the root causes of the climate crisis and global health threats, as well as address their impact on communities. We also reaffirmed our commitment to enhance coordination on disaster response, including broadening disaster risk reduction and humanitarian assistance and cooperation for Ukraine and other regional priorities across the globe by sharing information and coordinating planning. We also committed to coordinate diplomacy to support vulnerable people affected by conflict, climate-induced emergencies, and other disasters.
Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States also committed to offering impactful development finance investments, including mobilizing private sector capital. More broadly, we committed to promoting partner country ownership, debt sustainability, transparency, and accountability and to providing leadership and solutions on these key issues through trilateral cooperation and relevant multilateral institutions. We shared our determination to promote transparent and fair development finance to enable developing countries to achieve quality and sustainable growth.
Throughout our discussions, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States highlighted the increasing threat of disinformation regarding development and humanitarian assistance in the region and concurred on the vital need to address this growing challenge. We also discussed opportunities to strategically coordinate and amplify public messaging about our countries’ support for development and humanitarian assistance in partner countries. We will continue to cooperate and strengthen the free, open, and rules-based international order.
We announce these shared principles at the start of our new chapter together, with the belief that momentum in collaboration will continue to guide our trilateral partnership. And we are committed to pursuing this dialogue biannually, with the next session hosted by the Republic of Korea. Above all, we recognize that our three nations – as well as the global community – will be stronger when Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United States are united in addressing today’s most pressing development and humanitarian challenges.