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2nd ROK-UNHCR Bilateral Consultation Takes Place
1. The government of the Republic of Korea held the 2nd Bilateral Consultation between the Republic of Korea and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva, the Swiss Confederation, on May 2. The ROK and the UNHCR head delegates to the Consultation were Director-General for International Organizations Kweon Ki-hwan and UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees Kelly Clements, respectively.
° Since the 1st ROK-UNHCR Bilateral Consultation in 2016, the two sides have been continuously advancing their strategic partnership.
2. In the Consultation, the two sides exchanged views on such agenda items as the global refugee issue and the UNHCR’s responses to it; ways for the ROK to contribute to addressing the global refugee issue through the UNHCR; and the implementation of the Global Compact on Refugees. They agreed to further enhance the bilateral partnership by holding the Bilateral Consultation on a regular basis.
° The UNHCR side extended appreciation to the ROK for rendering assistance to the UNHCR on its activities by maintaining its qualification as a member of the UNHCR’s “20-million-plus dollar donors’ club,” a group of major donor countries, since 2016, and recording the world’s 2nd-largest private contribution (US$44 million) in 2018.
° The ROK side commended the UNHCR’s leading role in the development of the Global Compact on Refugees, which had been adopted by the UN in 2018 to respond comprehensively to the global refugee crisis; and agreed on the need for the international community to work together under the Global Compact on Refugees.
° In addition, the ROK side introduced the “Action with Women and Peace” initiative launched in June 2018 as well as the projects designed to help Rohingya refugees in the People's Republic of Bangladesh and survivors of sexual violence in the Central African Republic, which are being pursued as part of the efforts to implement the initiative. The two sides agreed to seek possible ways to work together on the initiative.
※ The initiative was launched by the ROK government to contribute more actively to the areas of “Women, Peace and Security,” which have become a major agenda of the international community. Under the initiative, the ROK government is conducting development cooperation projects related to addressing sexual violence in conflicts, and will regularly hold international conferences on women, peace and security.
3. The 2nd ROK-UNHCR Bilateral Consultation is seen to have served as an opportunity for the two sides to strengthen their joint response to the global refugee crisis and strategic partnership for addressing the crisis. The two sides are expected to further increase bilateral cooperation by holding high-level exchanges and the Bilateral Consultations on a regular basis.
* unofficial translation