A “National Assembly forum on diplomacy with the people” successfully took place in the National Assembly building on September 3 to declare the year 2018 as the first year of “diplomacy with the people.” The event brought together some 150 people, including National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang, Chairman Kang Seok-ho and six other members of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee, and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha.
National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang, stressing that unless based on public trust, a state policy could hardly be driven forward, expressed pleasure over the National Assembly serving as the forum of the first round of discussions on “diplomacy with the people.”
In his opening remarks, Chairman Kang Seok-ho of the National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee, calling foreign relations and security important areas to both ruling and opposition parties, voiced hope that the forum would serve as an opportunity to create a synergistic effect from cooperation between the people-representing National Assembly and the government in the course of implementing foreign policy.
In her congratulatory remarks, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, calling the people at the center of representative democracy and “diplomacy with the people” pursued by the National Assembly and Foreign Ministry, respectively, spoke of the Foreign Ministry’s plan to pay attention to what people have to say and implement diplomacy more humbly and in a way that is in accordance with common sense and meets expectations of the people.
In the forum that came in the wake of the opening session, professor Kim Seok-ho of Seoul National University delivered a keynote presentation on “ways for people to take part in the foreign policy process,” followed by a free discussion among experts from the academia and the National Assembly as well as the general public.
The forum is seen to have served as an opportunity to win a broader support from the people for the “diplomacy with the people” policy and to explore ways for them to take part in foreign affairs; and to have built a framework for cooperation between the National Assembly and the Foreign Ministry.
* unofficial translation