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Efforts to formulate a new development strategy are becoming increasingly important as the world community seeks to establish a common framework for development in the post-Cold War era, Japan’s ambassador to the U.N. said July 24.

Individual elements of the new approach may not be new, but a comprehensive approach has not been mapped out yet, Hisashi Owada said at the opening of the Okinawa Conference on Development. A new strategy is necessary because development was not effectively promoted during the Cold War era when its purpose was distorted due to the ideological confrontation between East and West, said Owada, who is chairing the conference.

In the post-Cold War environment, Owada said, development can now be promoted as a means to enhance the lives of all involved. “The growing disparity between the poverty of developing countries and the wealth of the rest of the world will be a major cause for worldwide social disorder in the next century” if the present situation is left unattended, Owada said.

About 50 people from 22 countries and international organizations are participating in the two-day international conference. The new strategy includes establishment of output-oriented targets in specific areas of development, according to Owada.

Gross domestic product per capita and a reduction in the number of people living in extreme poverty “will serve as yardsticks or benchmarks to measure progress achieved through development efforts,” Owada said.

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