Statement by H.E. Park Jin
Minister of Foreign Affairs
2023 SDG Summit
September 18, 2023
Thank you very much, co-chairs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We, the international community, are halfway through the 2030 timeline of meeting the SDGs.
Sadly, there are warning signs that we are much more than halfway away from reaching the SDGs.
Every week brings startling reminders that achieving sustainable development around the world is fraught with more difficulties than we had thought.
The unspeakable devastation caused by the earthquake in Morocco and the flooding in Libya are the latest examples.
The SDGs are literally on life support.
It is beyond high time to translate our words into real actions.
I would like to highlight three points that should be central to such efforts.
First, we need to collectively invest more for each and every one of the 17 goals.
The annual SDG funding gap has risen from $2.5 trillion before COVID to $4.2 trillion.
Korea is aspiring to become a Global Pivotal State that contributes to freedom, peace and prosperity around the world.
As such, Korea is committed to shouldering greater roles and responsibilities.
For example, Korea increased its development budget by 21.3% this year.
We are aiming for an even greater increase for next year.
In particular, our core contribution to the UN Development System will experience unprecedented upscale from current levels.
This upward trajectory will continue throughout the Yoon Suk Yeol Administration.
Second, we must help enable the world’s youth to unleash their potential and shape the future.
Korea was able to rebuild from the ashes of the war because we invested in our youth.
Although we were poor, primary and secondary education were free.
This served as a key driving force for Korea’s development.
Korea will leverage its know-how on helping children have unlimited access to quality education.
K-TVET (케이티벳) -Korea’s flagship vocational centers- will be at the heart of our efforts to create new opportunities for youth around the world.
Third, tapping into the potential of digital technologies is critical.
For it can accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.
During a recent speech, President Yoon Suk Yeol emphasized that new technologies like AI should be harnessed to maximizing the freedom and welfare of humanity.
Korea is fully committed to narrowing the digital divide through collaboration with diverse stakeholders including the UN.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Korea is fully ready to work hand-in-hand with its partners in the pursuit of our shared quest towards the 2030 Agenda. Thank you. /The End/