1. On February 5, Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha attended the 3rd Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development (GEEF) co-hosted by the Institute for Global Engagement & Empowerment at Yonsei University, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, and the Ban Ki-moon Foundation for a Better Future under the theme “3Ps Beyond Security: Peace, Prosperity and Partnership.”
o At the Forum held from February 4 to 5, participants discussed ways for the international community to work together in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) amid the COVID-19 situation.
o Among other key participants were former President of Austria Heinz Fischer, President of Colombia Iván Duque, 8th Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-moon, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed, 12th President of the World Bank Group Jim Yong Kim, Columbia University Professor Jeffrey Sachs, and Special Envoy for the UN Refugee Agency Angelina Jolie.
2. In her congratulatory remarks, Foreign Minister Kang stressed the need to further strengthen international solidarity and cooperation in implementing the UN SDGs in order to achieve an inclusive and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
o Foreign Minister Kang especially emphasized that in that process, countries need to strengthen national health systems and ensure affordable and equitable access to vaccines by keeping vaccine nationalism at bay; respond to climate change; build inclusive and resilient societies by ensuring that the vulnerable are not left behind; and intensify efforts to build peace in fragile contexts.
o She also shared the Korean government’s various efforts to contribute to achieving the SDGs, such as its assistance to over 120 countries in responding to COVID-19, including test kits and vaccines, and the hosting of the P4G Summit.
o Furthermore, she stressed the need to mobilize various finances and technologies through multi-stakeholder partnerships among governments, international organizations, the private sector, and civil society.
3. Foreign Minister Kang’s participation in the Forum served as an opportunity to contribute to further reinforcing international solidarity and cooperation in implementing the UN SDGs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.