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Minister of Foreign Affairs Attends Session on Multilateralism at Munich Security Conference

  • Date : 2020-02-15 16:43:18
  • Hit : 216

1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha attended the opening ceremony of the 56th Munich Security Conference held in Munich, the Federal Republic of Germany, on the afternoon of February 14 (local time), and participated in a panel discussion on “Westlessness in the world: Multilateralism in a changing international order,” held in the main conference hall, along with Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas and Minister of External Affairs of the Republic of India Subrahmanyam Jaishankar.


2. Minister Kang stressed that values that underpinned multilateralism including democracy, the rule of law and human rights are no longer the preserve of the West but are universal norms, and also said that the ROK will continue to serve as a supporter of multilateralism and make contribution to revitalize multilateralism.


o Minister Kang said that multilateralism is all the more necessary for the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia because of the relative lack of it in the region, and that although the dialogue is temporarily stalled, the ROK will continue to move forward with the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.


o In this regard, Minister Kang explained that the ROK government is making efforts to practically ensure peace and safety on the Korean Peninsula through multilateral initiatives, including the proposal to turn the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) into an internationally recognized peace zone through the inscription of the DMZ as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


o In addition, Minister Kang noted with appreciation that in celebration of its 75th anniversary, the United Nations is working to hold dialogues among the youth around the world in order to spread and strengthen global consciousness among young people, and added that the Korean movie “Parasite” which won Academy Awards is such example of global consciousness among the current generations.


3. Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Heiko Maas emphasized that as the era of omnipresent American global policemen is over, European countries need to play more active roles in the world to maintain and strengthen the multilateral order and to promote trans-atlantic security partnership as well as stability in the Middle East and North Africa.


o Minister of External Affairs of India Jaishankar said that with rebalancing from the West to Asia underway in both economic and political sense, the international order is transforming into a multipolar system where the role of the West is declining, and pointed out that under such circumstances, the role of multilateralism will become more important than ever.


o U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham explained that the U.S. government does not want to undermine the multilateral order, but intends to reform the multilateral system to ensure a more equitable burden-sharing.  


4. This is the first time that the Foreign Minister of the ROK has participated as a panelist in a main session of the Munich Security Conference. It is seen to reflect expectations over the ROK’s role in strengthening multilateralism, and Minister Kang’s participation in the meeting served as a good opportunity to express to the international community that the ROK, as a responsible middle-power country, is committed to strengthening the rules-based international order.