- Press Releases
Deputy Foreign Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Visits Ethiopia (Oct. 19-20)
1. Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ham Sang Wook visited Addis Ababa, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, from October 19 to 20. During his visit, he attended the ceremony celebrating the Republic of Korea’s donation of medical and other related supplies as part of its COVID-19 Comprehensive Rapid Response Program that the ROK government has been implementing for key partners including Ethiopia and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and held high-level consultations to strengthen the ROK’s cooperation with Ethiopia and the African Union (AU).
(Ceremony celebrating the ROK’s donation of medical and other related supplies as part of its COVID-19 Comprehensive Rapid Response Program)
2. On October 20, Deputy Minister Ham attended the ceremony celebrating the ROK’s comprehensive emergency assistance worth US$5 million, which was held at the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.
o Minister of Health Lia Tadesse attended the ceremony on behalf of the Ethiopian government and delivered welcoming remarks, in which she expressed appreciation to the ROK government for helping Ethiopia strengthen its comprehensive COVID-19 response capacity and looked forward to closer cooperation between the two countries in the health sector.
o In his congratulatory remarks, Deputy Minister Ham expressed his gratitude to Ethiopia for standing as a true friend by dispatching ground forces to help the ROK during the Korean War 70 years ago, and also by keeping its borders open and subsequently supporting the repatriation of Korean nationals in Africa in the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak. He went on to add that, in light of such close bilateral relations, the ROK government selected Ethiopia as a key partner for its COVID-19 Comprehensive Rapid Response Program and has been assisting Ethiopia’s response to COVID-19 and sustainable development.
o The ceremony was covered by a number of local media outlets. Among key participants in the ceremony were Ethiopia’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs Birtukan Ayano Dadi, officials from the Ministry of Health, Ambassador for Global Health Security Oh Myoung-don, and the ROK Ambassador to Ethiopia Lim Hoon-min.
3. Immediately following the ceremony, Deputy Minister Ham met separately with Minister of Health Tadesse, and discussed ways to strengthen health cooperation between the two countries.
o As part of the efforts to strengthen and institutionalize health security cooperation, the two sides agreed to review the conclusion of a health agreement and the idea of establishing a 2+2 consultative mechanism involving foreign and health ministers from the two countries.
(ROK-Ethiopia bilateral meetings)
4. On October 19, Deputy Minister Ham paid a courtesy call on Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu Andargachew, met with Ethiopian State Minister of Foreign Affairs Redwan Hussein, and visited the Korean War veterans memorial park. On October 20, he had a meeting with heads of Korean government agencies in Ethiopia.
5. Deputy Minister Ham paid a courtesy call on Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gedu on the afternoon of October 19, and discussed wide-ranging issues including ROK-Ethiopia relations, ways to enhance COVID-19 related cooperation, 2020 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
o Deputy Minister Ham expressed his satisfaction at how the two countries have continued to develop bilateral relations in multiple areas and steadily expand cooperation at both bilateral and multilateral level. He also noted that the ROK will continue to advance bilateral relations with Ethiopia and support Korean War veterans and their descendants who are the living symbol of bilateral ties.
o Minister Gedu expressed deep appreciation to not only the ROK government but also civil society for providing extensive support to Ethiopia’s efforts to overcome COVID-19, and expressed gratitude once again for the ROK’s continued support for Korean War veterans and their descendants.
o Deputy Minister Ham briefed Minister Gedu on the ROK government’s COVID-19 response strategies, and expressed appreciation for how the Ethiopian government refrained from closing its borders and supported the repatriation of many Korean residents in Africa and the deployment of Hanbit Unit to South Sudan.
o Deputy Minister Ham invited Minister Gedu to the United Nations Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference to be held in Seoul in April next year, and Minister Gedu responded by saying that he will positively consider his participation.
o Deputy Minister Ham explained the current situation on the Korean Peninsula, and Minister Gedu reiterated Ethiopia’s support for the peace process on the Korean Peninsula and vowed to provide maximum cooperation for peace on the Peninsula.
6. Following the courtesy call, Deputy Minister Ham met with State Minister of Foreign Affairs Redwan, and held in-depth discussions on the issues addressed above, including ROK-Ethiopia relations, ways to enhance COVID-19 related cooperation, 2020 UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. He also discussed bilateral issues including ways to resolve the difficulties faced by Korean companies in Ethiopia, and cooperation on the international stage.
o In particular, the two sides agreed to work together to resolve the difficulties faced by Korean companies in Ethiopia and create a favorable business environment for Korean companies in a sustainable and fundamental way.
(Visit to the Korean War veterans memorial park)
7. Deputy Minister Ham visited the Korean War veterans memorial park on the afternoon of October 19 upon his arrival in Addis Ababa, and met with executives of the Korean War veterans association including the president and expressed his profound gratitude, noting that the ROK has been able to achieve democracy and economic development thanks to the sacrifice and dedication of the veterans and has now become a country that is helping Korean War veterans and their descendants.
o The veterans said that the ROK is actually doing more for them today than what they did for the ROK in the past, and expressed appreciation to the ROK for its continued support including the donation of face masks amid the COVID-19 crisis.
(Meeting with heads of Korean government agencies in Ethiopia)
8. On October 20, Deputy Minister Ham had a meeting with heads of Korean government agencies in Ethiopia, including the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA), and the Export-Import Bank of Korea. Deputy Minister Ham listened to the difficulties that the heads of government agencies were experiencing amid the COVID-19 situation, and discussed each agency’s future business plans.
(African Union-related schedule)
9. On October 20, Deputy Minister Ham met with Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission Thomas Kwesi Quartey and AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Smail Chergui.
10. Deputy Minister Ham met with Deputy Chairperson of the AUC Quartey on the morning of October 20, and discussed ways for cooperation between the ROK and the AU in responding to COVID-19.
o Deputy Minister Ham briefed Deputy Chairperson Quartey on the ROK government’s COVID-19 response strategies based on the principles of transparency, openness, and civic engagement, and said that the ROK government has been adopting a two-track approach of exploring domestic production of treatments and vaccines while also promoting global cooperation by joining the COVAX Facility and contributing to the COVAX AMC. He added that the ROK will continue working together with various partners including the AU to ensure equitable and affordable access to vaccines and treatments around the world.
o Deputy Chairperson of the AUC Quartey agreed that “no one is safe until everyone is safe,” and expressed appreciation for the ROK government’s support for the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, saying that the world needs to emulate the ROK government’s COVID-19 response model.
o Following the meeting, Deputy Minister Ham visited the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, and was briefed by the Director of the Africa CDC John Nkengasong on the African continent’s efforts to combat COVID-19.
11. After his visit to the Africa CDC, Deputy Minister Ham met with AU Commissioner for Peace and Security Chergui, and discussed ROK-AU cooperation, contributions to regional peace and security, the 5th ROK-Africa Forum, and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.
o Deputy Minister Ham underlined that since the ROK obtained observer status at the AU in 2005, ROK-AU relations have made remarkable progress. He also explained that the ROK government is planning to hold the 5th ROK-Africa Forum next year to further deepen its relations with the AU and requested AU’s cooperation.
o Commissioner Chergui said that he is clearly witnessing the ROK’s growing interest and investment in the African continent, and added that the AU would provide necessary cooperation to hold the 5th ROK-Africa Forum.
o Deputy Minister Ham explained that the ROK government has been actively supporting the international community’s efforts for peace and stability in Africa, including by contributing to stabilization efforts in the African Sahel region, dispatching a 270-strong unit to South Sudan, supporting the establishment of a Level-2 hospital in Mali, and serving on the UN Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) five times during the past decade.
o Commissioner Chergui expressed gratitude for the ROK government’s contribution to regional peace, and commended the ROK government for carrying out highly meaningful projects.
addition, Deputy Minister Ham shared the current situation on the Korean
Peninsula, and Commissioner Chergui said that the AU has very high regard for
President Moon Jae-in’s insight and approach for peace on the Korean Peninsula
and that the AU will continue to support the peaceful resolution of the Korean