LDP group calls for review, revamp of ODA framework

A working group set up within the Liberal Democratic Party to examine official development assistance reform is calling for the general framework for ODA to be altered, according to a draft paper obtained Friday by Kyodo News.

“Necessary reviews need to be made to the general framework of ODA as 10 years have passed since it was compiled,” the paper states. The general framework for ODA states the program’s philosophies and principles, such as ensuring that environmental issues and development are compatible.

The paper calls for a Cabinet group that considers foreign economic cooperation to be clearly identified as the body that decides on ODA. It also advocates bolstering the functions of the group.

Moreover, the paper urges the establishment of a council tasked with providing grant aid in an effort to make the process of selecting this aid more transparent.

The LDP team, led by former Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, hopes to come up with a final plan by the end of the year.

In reference to reviewing the general framework of ODA, the draft paper states that the basic objective of ODA should be redefined and that aid strategy toward Asia must be re-established.

The draft paper says ODA must be used for human security purposes and to establish peace after a conflict has ended.

The group also wants the functions of a director general-level liaison council on ODA among related government ministries and agencies to implement ODA strategically.