Remarks by H.E. Kang Kyung-wha
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Korea
at the 2019 International Development Cooperation Day
November 25, 2019, Seoul
Minister Nguyen Chi Dung, from Vietnam,
Minister Chhieng Yanara, from Cambodia,
Minister Saleumxay Kommasith, from the Lao People’s Democratic Republic,
Minister U Kyaw Tin, from Myanmar,
Secretary Pernia, from the Philippines,
Deputy Minister Tampubolon, from Indonesia,
Secretary General Lim Jock Hoi,
President Lee Mi-kyung, of KOICA,
Excellencies, Representatives from ASEAN Member Countries,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Commemorative Ceremony for the 2019 International Development Day in Korea. And I do hope that you are all enjoying this beautiful and bustling port city of Busan, as it hosts the ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit, as well as the 1st Mekong-Korea Summit.
Exactly 10 years ago, on this day, Korea joined the OECD Development Assistance Committee, DAC. And over the past years, the annual commemoration of this day has served as an opportunity to reaffirm Korea’s strong commitment to international development and to review our policies in development assistance, based on our own development trajectory from a war-torn poverty-stricken country, to a thriving market economy and the vibrant democracy.
And this event, today, in the side-lines of the ROK-ASEAN Commemorative Summit and the Mekong-ROK Summit, is indeed a timely and a valuable opportunity to discuss the past, present and future of the Korea-ASEAN relations, seen through the prism of development cooperation.
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Korea-ASEAN relations are blossoming. We’ve become valuable partners to each other in all areas of cooperation, in peace and security, development and the well-being of our peoples.
Against this backdrop, President Moon Jae-in is driving our New Southern Policy as a key plank of Korea’s foreign policy. Our New Southern Policy seeks to elevate the Korea-ASEAN relations even further, building upon the three pillars of People, Prosperity, and Peace.
The ASEAN-Korea Commemorative Summit and the 1st Mekong-Korea Summit in the next three days will spell out the substance of this vision through concrete measures and initiatives. And development cooperation will be an important part of their discussions.
Excellencies, Distinguished Guests,
Over the past years, Korea has endeavored to deepen and enrich development cooperation with ASEAN countries.
Directing about one quarter of Korea’s Official Development Assistance to this region, the Korean government is now working to implement President Moon’s pledge to double the contribution to ASEAN partner countries by 2022, in line with our New Southern ODA Strategy.
This strategy is based on our shared goal of co-prosperity in harmony with the people and nature. And very much plugs to the ASEAN vision of “Advancing Partnership for Sustainability.” There are five flagship programs that uphold this strategy.
First, we would like to forge a ‘Digital Partnership for Inclusive Development.’ This program will make the best use of Korea’s strength in ICT to improve ASEAN’s capacity in the digital economy as we all try to meet the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Second, we would like to build ‘Korea-Mekong Future Communities,’ that overcome the legacies of conflict and colonial rule, and become models of rural development. These communities will be free of explosive remnants of war, ERS, and provide comprehensive support for the victims in rural areas.
Third, we are committed to expanding activities to nurture human resources, particularly in ‘Higher Education’, because it is so clear from Korea’s own development experience, as other development cases worldwide, that people, human resources are the driving force of change.
And last but not least, building ‘Smart Cities’ and improving ASEAN connectivity through ‘Inclusive Transportation’ are two programs where Korea would like to deepen future cooperation with ASEAN.
It is our hope that these initiatives will contribute to ‘regional stability and prosperity, and help to achieve a people-centered and forward-looking ASEAN Community that leaves no one behind.’
In the margins of this event, Korea will sign an MOU on development cooperation with our key ASEAN partner countries. And this MOU will allow us to execute the 5 flagship programs in close collaboration with one another, and lay out a solid foundation for future development cooperation. And I very much look forward to working closely with each partner country to produce tangible results and outcomes.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Over the past 30 years, Korea and ASEAN together have made impressive accomplishments. And Korea is now ready to take the partnership deeper, higher and wider to the benefit of our peoples.
Our future together, will be a journey towards a people-centered, peaceful and prosperous community, and I do hope that everyone here will play an active role in the process. Korea will stand by side-by-side with ASEAN as we move forward to achieve our common vision of ‘Partnership for Peace, Prosperity for People.’
Thank you very much.