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Ministry News

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Health and Welfare Co-host 2020 Korea-LAC Future Cooperation Forum

Date
2020-11-25
hit
468

1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Welfare co-hosted the “2020 Korea-LAC (Latin America and the Caribbean) Future Cooperation Forum” on November 23, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Health and Welfare, and officials from the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency, the International Vaccine Institute, the Korea Drug Development Fund, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), as well as high-level officials of four Latin American countries including ministers and vice ministers in attendance for the first time since the spread of COVID-19 early this year.

 

o On the LAC side, minister or vice minister-level officials of the Republic of Ecuador, the Republic of Panama, the Republic of Costa Rica and the Republic of Colombia attended the forum in person, while minister or vice minister-level officials of the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, the Republic of Chile, and the Federative Republic of Brazil participated in the forum through pre-recorded videos.

 

2. In her opening remarks, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha noted with appreciation that since the spread of COVID-19, the Republic of Korea and LAC countries have closely worked together based on the spirit of solidarity and cooperation, and suggested that the two sides concretize cooperation in health and disease prevention and control and further expand cooperation in the digital sector and climate change in preparation for the post-COVID-19 new normal era.

 

o In particular, Minister Kang expressed hope that concrete ways for digital cooperation would be discussed at the “Korea-LAC digital new deal cooperation dialogue” to be held in Seoul in March next year, and that Korean companies would continue working together with LAC countries as the best partners in the area of infrastructure construction in the post-COVID-19 era.

 

3. In his welcoming remarks, Minister of Health and Welfare Park, Neunghoo said that the ROK would share its successful experience in COVID-19 response based on “openness, civic engagement, and creativity,” and hoped that the two sides would further solidify the foundation for health and medical cooperation in the post-COVID-19 era, building upon previous experience in health cooperation.

 

o Minister Park proposed that the ROK and LAC countries reinforce solidarity to end COVID-19, including sharing experiences in “3T (Test, Trace, and Treat),” the ROK’s key strategy for COVID-19 response, and stressed the importance of joint efforts in fostering medical personnel, promoting cooperation in ICT and digital health and medical care, and ensuring a fair distribution of vaccines and treatments.

 

4. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of Ecuador Luis Gallegos noted that the Korea-LAC Future Cooperation Forum that has been led by the ROK Foreign Ministry helped build closer relations between the ROK and LAC countries. He went on to say that the ROK is a very important country as a development model for LAC countries which aim to achieve sustainable growth and economic and social prosperity, and expressed hope that this forum would serve as an opportunity to take the traditional cooperative relations between the two sides to a higher level in preparation for the post-COVID-19 era.

 

5. At the forum, participants from the two sides discussed LAC countries’ COVID-19 response efforts and had in-depth discussions on ways to strengthen cooperation in pharmaceuticals and digital healthcare through the ROK’s “K-quarantine” in response to the demand for health and quarantine cooperation in LAC countries.

 

o In Session I on “building solidarity between Korea and LAC countries for the effective response to infectious diseases in the new normal era,” the ROK side shared its COVID-19 response measures with Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, and Uruguay. They also exchanged views on the next steps and explored the possibility of cooperation through health ODA in LAC countries.

 

o In Session II on “establishing international partnerships for effective treatment and prevention of infectious diseases,” participants reviewed the progress in the international community and each country in the development of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and discussed ways to expand cooperation between the ROK and LAC countries in developing and producing vaccines and treatments.

 

6. The forum served as an opportunity to take bilateral cooperative relations in pharmaceuticals and digital healthcare one step further in preparation for the post-COVID-19 new normal era by discussing COVID-19 response and ways to overcome the pandemic, with a number of high-level officials in charge of foreign affairs and healthcare from the ROK and LAC countries in attendance for the first time since the outbreak of COVID-19.

 

7. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with the Ministry of Health and Welfare, will put into practice the ways for cooperation in health and disease prevention and control that were discussed at this forum, and continue diplomatic efforts to broaden the horizons of cooperation with LAC countries to the Digital and Green New Deals, climate change, and expansion of infrastructure.