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On 3 and 4 September 2007, Korea was host to the third meeting of the Leading Group, whose six-month rotating presidency it held from March until the end of September, following on from Brazil and Norway.

South Korean presidency

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South Korea took over the Presidency after Norway. The Ministerial Conference was held in Seoul on 3 and 4 September 2007. Much progress was made in terms of the number of participants and issues addressed.

High participation signals the importance of innovate financing
The high level of participation (120 participants, 35 countries, 8 international organisations, 18 NGOS and other institutions represented) confirmed the interest in innovative mechanisms to finance development worldwide.

Led by the Korean Presidency, this meeting helped involve Asian countries who were not members of the Leading Group such as Laos and Malaysia. Other countries who were not members of the Leading Group also took part in this meeting including Russia, the Netherlands, Hungary and the Maldives.

The Leading Group after the Seoul Conference

After the Seoul Conference the Leading Group comprised 53 member countries and 2 observer countries (China, Japan) versus 40 member countries at its inception, as well as NGOs and international organisations:

Eight of the 53 countries introduced the air-ticket solidarity levy to finance UNITAID: Chile, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, France, Madagascar, Mauritius, Niger and South Korea.

Some 20 countries expressed their intention to introduce the air-ticket solidarity levy for the same purpose: Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cyprus, Gabon, Guinea, Jordan, Liberia, Luxembourg, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, Nicaragua, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal and Togo.

Four other countries announced their intention to provide UNITAID with financial support through another type of innovative financing mechanism (Norway, South Africa), through a budgetary contribution (Spain, United Kingdom) or without specifying the method (Poland).

Twenty-one other countries joined the working group, without committing at this stage to a solidarity contribution: Algeria, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Burundi, Cape Verde, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Finland, Germany, Guatemala, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, India, Italy, Lebanon, Mexico, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Saudi Arabia.

4 March 2009

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