- Press Releases
Vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho Attends UN Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security
1. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Lee Tae-ho attended “the United Nations Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security,” held in New York on April 23, where he announced that the government of the Republic of Korea will take an active part in the international community’s discussions on women, peace and security, and join its efforts to combat sexual violence in conflict.
° With the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 approaching, the Vice Minister expressed concern over the fact that despite a number of achievements in the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Agenda, sexual violence still persists in many conflict regions; and urged the international community to reaffirm the importance of the prevention of conflict, apply a survivor-centered approach, and cooperate with all key actors, including civil society, in a bid to respond to this issue.
° In particular, the Vice Minister said that many of the “comfort women” victims during World War II are passing away without having their lifelong agony fully addressed; and that the government of the ROK, a country that had painful experience of sexual violence in conflict, will continue efforts to help recover the honor and dignity of those victims and to ensure that historical lessons are learned from this issue.
2. Vice Minister Lee also attended “the High Level Side Event: Preparing for the 20th anniversary of UNSCR 1325” held in the wake of the Open Debate. At the Event, he pledged that the ROK government will continue to make contributions in various areas, including holding the 1st International Conference on “Action with Women and Peace” (Seoul, July 2-3), the first annual international conference on Women, Peace and Security to take place in Asia; providing US$8 million to support projects designed to respond to sexual violence in conflict; ensuring women’s increased participation and achieving greater gender equality in our peacekeeping operations; enhancing women’s representation in the security and peace-related area; and strengthening cooperation with civil society on the WPS Agenda.
3. During his visit to New York, Vice Minister Lee met with Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten, during which the Vice Minister spoke about the “Action with Women and Peace” initiative launched by the ROK government in 2018 and agreed with the Special Representative to work together in implementing the WPS Agenda, including the elimination of sexual violence in conflict.
4. Vice Minister Lee also met with Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs of the UN, Rosemary DiCarlo, and Chef de Cabinet to the UN Secretary-General, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti. The two sides exchanged views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula in the wake of the Hanoi summit between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as well as global issues; and agreed to continue close communication and consultations between the ROK and the UN Secretariat.
° Vice Minister Lee extended appreciation to the UN for its consistent support for the ROK government’s policy toward the Korean Peninsula; explained the current situation on the Peninsula; and asked the UN to continue rendering support in the process toward complete denuclearization and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
° The officials from the UN Secretariat reaffirmed their consistent support for the ROK government’s Korean Peninsula policy; took note of the ROK government’s contributions in the areas of Women, Peace, Security and peace-building; and voiced hope to work closely together in resolving global issues, including climate change.
* unofficial translation