1. The tenth Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum took place in Seoul on November 15, bringing together some 200 people, including government delegates from the five Central Asian countries as well as major figures and experts from various sectors at home and abroad.
2. At the forum’s opening ceremony, First Vice Foreign Minister Lim Sung-nam delivered a keynote speech, in which he highlighted the commitment of the government of the Republic of Korea to work more closely with the Central Asian countries; and presented a blueprint for the ROK-Central Asia relations over the next ten years, which calls for building the second Silk Road through innovation, enhancing mutual understanding and interest through youth exchanges; and improving cyber connectivity through online platforms.
3. In the ROK-Central Asia (C5+1) vice foreign ministerial meeting on November 15, the ranking diplomats discussed in depth the ROK-Central Asia relations, nuclear and other issues of North Korea, and the situation in Afghanistan. They also set the regulations on the establishment of the ROK-Central Asia cooperation secretariat, adopted the secretariat’s project plan for 2017 and approved the appointment of its first secretary-general.
4. On the morning of November 15, a special session themed “Future of Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum” took place, during which the participants reviewed the development process and the current state of the forum as well as the role of the cooperation secretariat.
5. On the afternoon of November 15, sessions on the e-government system and smart farms as well as a youth exchange program were held.
6. The forum, which came ahead of the 25 anniversary of the ROK-Central Asia diplomatic ties and the 80th anniversary of the settlement of ethnic Koreans in Central Asia in 2017, is seen to have helped people at home and abroad learn more about and take keener interest in the ROK government’s diplomacy toward Central Asia for co-prosperity and cooperation; and to have contributed to the ROK government’s efforts to bolster the foundation for implementing its Eurasia Initiative.
* unofficial translation