- Press Releases
2021 Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Intergovernmental Meeting
1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Intergovernmental Meeting 2021 on October 20, chaired by Deputy Minister for Political Affairs Yeo Seung Bae.
° The Intergovernmental Meeting is part of the “Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Platform” project led by the Korean government with the aim of building a foundation for dialogue and cooperation in Northeast Asia. This annual Meeting has been attended by delegates of major participating countries from the region and international dialogue partners. This year’s Meeting was held offline with six participating countries from the region -- Korea, China, Japan, the United States, Russia, and Mongolia.
° At the Intergovernmental Meeting, major outcomes of the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Forum, held on October 6-7, were shared, a variety of policy advice proposed by the private sector was reviewed, and key achievements and ways to further develop the Northeast Asia Cooperation for Health Security (NEACHS) were discussed.
2. In his opening remarks, Deputy Minister Yeo pointed out that there is no multilateral cooperative system in the region, and stressed the necessity of multilateral cooperation to jointly respond to various challenges that Northeast Asia faces and to promote peace and prosperity in the region.
° He hoped that today’s meeting could contribute to the facilitation of regional multilateral cooperation through in-depth discussion on timely issues, such as disasters like nuclear accidents, economic cooperation in the post-COVID-19 era, and public health cooperation.
3. In Session 1, the Korean government explained the need for confidence building to establish regional cooperation, introduced confidence building measures in various fields which were proposed at the Forum, and said that it will continue its efforts to find ways to enhance regional multilateral cooperation.
° Participants called for continued cooperation among countries to resolve the Korean Peninsula issue, and agreed on the necessity of transparent and prompt information sharing when jointly responding to regional disasters, including nuclear accidents.
4. In Session 2, the Korean government also shared the significance of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the way forward for regional economic integration through the RCEP, which were discussed during the forum.
° Participants discussed the significance of the RCEP, and showed interest in Korea’s internal procedure for ratifying the RCEP.
5. In Session 3, the Korean government introduced main outcomes of NEACHS aimed at jointly responding to trans-boundary health security crises among countries in the region that are actively engaged in people-to-people and material exchanges.
° The Korean side explained that since the establishment of NEACHS in December 2020, four meetings were held with relevant authorities from participating countries, through which NEACHS made progress in concrete discussion about cooperation projects such as “Medical Supplies Reserve for Public Health Emergencies” and “Joint Capacity Building for personnel in charge of COVID-19 Response.” Moreover, the Korean government introduced achievements of NEACHS, such as the pilot operation of the medical supplies reserve for public health emergencies project between Korea and Mongolia in August, the upgrade of the level of participation to director-general level since the fourth meeting in August, and the webinar for joint capacity building for personnel in charge of COVID-19 response hosted on October 19.
° Participants appreciated Korea’s leading role to advance NEACHS, and agreed to continue to develop NEACHS by accelerating the operation of various cooperation projects and adopting NEACHS’s Terms of Reference by the end of the year. Participants also shared the view that the countries need to cooperate closely to convince North Korea to participate in NEACHS.
6. The Intergovernmental Meeting served as a good opportunity to affirm the need for multilateral cooperation among Northeast Asian countries and draw up detailed cooperation plans to deal with various trans-national challenges that Northeast Asia faces, such as economic cooperation in the post-COVID-19 era and trans-boundary disasters.
° The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue its efforts for the private sector’s suggestions on multilateral cooperation to be reflected at the policy level through the Northeast Asia Peace and Cooperation Intergovernmental Meeting.