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Multilateral Environment Diplomacy
Cooperation with the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)
The Korean government has led the establishment of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) as part of its efforts to spread the green economy agenda and to contribute to the international community’s cooperation toward a green economy. GGGI expanded its membership to 30 states with the accession of the Democratic Republic of Burkina Paso and the Kingdom of Tonga in October 2018. GGGI is now assisting more than 25 developing countries in addressing climate change, establishing and implementing green growth strategies, and building green growth capacity. GGGI has gained its momentum as an international organization as it was granted Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligibility status by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development‘s Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) in June 2013 and received United Nations General Assembly observer status in December 2013. Furthermore, GGGI is developing into a competitive international organization as it has qualified as a Public International Organization to be eligible for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) financing opportunities and has been awarded an A+ rating in the 2017 Annual Review of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).
The Korean government actively engaged in GGGI’s efforts to improve its project implementation and governance through meetings and frequent consultations with the GGGI Secretariat and member states. In Particular, Korea supported GGGI’s efficient decision-making and transparent organizational management as Vice-chair of the Assembly and the Council of GGGI and Audit Contact Point in 2018. Meanwhile, the Korean government promoted GGGI on important diplomatic occasions, such as high-level bilateral meetings and multilateral conferences. Also, the Korean government will support GGGI, in the year ahead, so that GGGI may continue to develop as a competitive international organization leading global green growth.
Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G)
Korea participates in Partnering for Green Growth and the Global Goals 2030 (P4G) to expand public-private partnerships in green economy. P4G is a global initiative launched by Denmark on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2017 to promote private-public partnerships in five key areas (water, energy, circular economy, cities, food and agriculture) of green economy, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement. Currently, nine country partners (Korea, Denmark, the Netherlands, Mexico, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Chile, Kenya, and Columbia), international organizations (C40, GGGI, WEF, WRI, and etc.), private companies, and civil society organizations participate in P4G.
The Korean President attended the first P4G Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark in October 2018. In his keynote speech, he emphasized international solidarity and inclusiveness in order to overcome the environment crisis. Also, he urged cooperation among governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, and related institutions to achieve the SDGs and to implement the Paris Agrement through the Copenhagen Commitment to Action adopted at the Summit. In order to promote public-private partnerships with P4G partner countries, the Korean government established a professional network to discover and disseminate best practices through the P4G National Platform launched in July 2018 on the occasion of the 4th Green Round Table.
Strengthening International Cooperation for Environmental Protection
Global environmental issues cover a wide range of areas including air, ecosystems, ocean, hazardous waste, and chemical substances. More than 160 international conventions are in effect with the support of the UN and OECD.
Korea has acceded to a number of leading international conventions on the protection of the environment and has taken part in the discussion of, and response to, such global environmental issues for the protection of biodiversity, sustainable use of resources, protection of marine ecosystems, and international management of chemical and toxic substances. In 2017, the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization was ratified by the National Assembly and came into force on August 17, 2018.
The Republic of Korea actively participated in the Conference of the Parties of the Basel·Rotterdam·Stockholm Convention (Geneva, in April 2018), UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development Goals (New-York, in July 2018), Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment jointly hosted by UN-ESCAP and UNEP (Bangkok in September 2018), and the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (Sharm El Sheikh in November 2018) to discuss global cooperation on environmental protection and conservation. In particular, Korea participated in the 3rd United Nations Environment Assembly (December, Nairobi) which was held to pave the way “towards a pollution-free planet” and shared its continuous efforts to address the environmental challenges while stressing the need for international cooperation to tackle transboundary air pollution.
Green Round Table to Enhance Cooperation Among Environment Stakeholders
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs launched the “Green Round Table” in November 2016 to discuss ways to strengthen cooperation and synergies among international organizations and domestic agencies related to green economy concerns. By 2018, four rounds of the Green Round Table had been held.
At the fourth Green Round Table held in Seoul on July 27, 2018, Korea’s P4G National Platform was launched to create connectivity and to implement partnership among P4G and its partner countries. Sessions of the fourth Green Round Table focused on ways to build private-public cooperation and best practices for a circular economy and water management, which are key areas of P4G.
Through the Green Round Table, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will provide a forum for activating cooperation between international organizations specializing in green economy issues and relevant public-private environmental organizations.