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2024 글로벌지속가능발전포럼(GEEF) 연설문 (3.14)

2024-03-14 13:51:26

Statement by H.E. Mr. Cho Tae-yul

Minister of Foreign Affairs

Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development

March 14, 2024

Your Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, 8th Secretary-General of the United Nations, 

Dr. Yoon Dong-Sup, President of Yonsei University,

Your Excellency Ms. Kang Kyung-Hwa, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Korea,

Dr. Jim Yong Kim, Former President of the World Bank,

Distinguished Guests, 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is indeed a great pleasure for me to be here today at the Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development.

It would be remiss of me not to start by acknowledging the visionary leadership of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon – leadership which was instrumental in giving birth to the SDGs. 

Today, the SDGs have become synonymous with humanity’s collective commitment to a better, more sustainable future. 

And to this day, Secretary-General Ban continues to serve as its tireless champion, making a difference towards its realization. 

I also wish to thank Yonsei University for its longstanding support for the aspirations embodied in the SDGs.  

The fact that this is the sixth Global Engagement and Empowerment Forum being hosted by the University speaks to its robust contributions to raising awareness of the SDGs.

When the SDGs were launched back in 2015, no one harbored any illusions that the goals would be easy to attain. 

But the far-reaching changes that have taken place since then have vastly compounded the difficulties in realizing them : 

the tectonic shifts in the geopolitical landscape punctuated by two ongoing armed conflicts not least among those changes. 

The rules-based international order, which has been vital to global stability and prosperity, is also at risk of unraveling.

From the impact of climate change and pandemics to food insecurity and supply chain disruptions, crises abound.

Over 110 million people are displaced, and more than 700 million live in extreme poverty: a dire situation exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Global gas emissions hit a staggering 37.4 billion tons in 2023, the highest since 1990, highlighting a pressing need for urgent climate action.

And the strategic competition between the US and China is casting a long shadow on the global economy, trade, energy, and supply chains.

As we pass the halfway mark for achieving the SDGs, an assessment of the state of implementation reveals a sobering reality. 

Only 15% of the goals are currently on track to being met, with many regressing.

In Europe, North America, and Central America, only 20 out of 117 measurable SDG targets are on track – a mere 17%.

The current trajectory shows that the “Asia and the Pacific Region” is expected to achieve the SDGs as late as 2062.

As such, the SDGs are literally on life support. 

As Secretary-General Guterres said, we need a "Global Rescue Plan for the SDGs". 

As the deadline for achieving the SDGs draws near, the international community must step up and make stronger concerted efforts to turn the tide.

I would like to highlight three areas that should be central to such efforts.

First and foremost, a reformed, inclusive, and networked multilateralism, centered on the United Nations.

Today, multilateralism is arguably facing one of its lowest moments since the Cold War due to rising nationalism and escalating geopolitical, geo-economic and geo-technological rivalries. 

As a result, there are pervasive doubts about what multilateralism can in fact accomplish. 

But the complex nature of the challenges we face, and the collective solutions that are needed to address them, beckon for stronger multilateralism. 

This year, there will be several key opportunities to demonstrate the resilience of multilateralism and how it can contribute to the SDGS. 

For the first time in a decade, the UN will host the International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and the UN Conference on Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDC).

These platforms will address the acute challenges faced by SIDS and LLDCs, which often grapple with isolated geographical locations impeding access to trade, communication, and markets. 

The Summit of the Future in September represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revitalize trust in multilateralism.

The discussions on financing for development, peace, technology and innovation, youth, and global governance must help to lay the foundation for a sustainable future.

The international community must rise to the occasion and make sure that this summit and the “Pact for the Future” - led by Secretary-General Guterres - reignite the momentum for accelerating the achievement of the SDGs. 

Second, an integrated approach to development cooperation focused on the humanitarian-peace-development nexus. 

Peace, development, and human rights are inter-twined and mutually reinforcing goals that constitute the three main pillars of the UN. 

They are “three faces of the same reality,” as former Secretary-General Kofi Annan eloquently put it. 

Indeed, there is no peace without development, and no development without peace. 

Equally true is that neither development nor peace is sustainable without respect for human rights. 

The interplay between these three pillars and the multi-faceted nature of the global challenges we face today call for a holistic and integrated approach.

We must de-silo security, development, and humanitarian work. 

Korea's journey from the ruins of the Korean War in the early 1950s to the robust economy and vibrant democracy of today offers a living testament to the transformative power of an integrated approach to the humanitarian, peace, and development nexus. 

Another notable example is The Gambia – a nation supported by the UN Peacebuilding Commission, which I had the privilege to Chair in 2017. 

The country was at a critical juncture of political transition right after an authoritarian leader was removed from power the previous year.

With the political and financial support from the PBC and the UN more broadly, the transfer of power proceeded smoothly and peacefully - and political stability created new opportunities for the pursuit of both development and peace.

With the sustaining of peace, The Gambia’s economy today is showcasing remarkable resilience even in the face of multiple global challenges. 

Third, the narrowing financial gap for SDG implementation. 

The annual SDG funding gap has risen from $2.5 trillion before COVID to $4.2 trillion – this must be reversed.

While Official Development Assistance (ODA) will continue to be an essential instrument for achieving the SDGs, we should step up our efforts to explore all avenues for mobilizing resources to meet the SDGs.

To address the needs of all nations, irrespective of their economic status, we must maintain our aspiration for a new Bretton Woods moment, focusing on reforming the international financial architecture. 

Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) must be bigger, bolder, and better as a driving force for the 2030 Agenda. 

Korea, as the Co-Chair of the International Financial Architecture Working Group at the G20, will contribute to advancing this critical agenda.

We must also make the best of the fourth UN International Conference on Financing for Development next year in Spain. 

This gathering is set to bring together world leaders for a comprehensive review of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

As such, it will mark a pivotal milestone in our journey to diversify development finance.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me take a moment to underline some of the key priorities of the Korean Government in accelerating the implementation of SDGs. 

Tapping into our experience of having achieved industrialization and democratization in a single generation, Korea is uniquely positioned to fulfill the following roles:

First, a facilitator that bridges the Global North and Global South – one that hails from the East but likeminded in many ways with the West. 

Second, a supporter that advances global public goods.

Third, an initiator that helps to set new global norms and standards.

Korea’s vision to become a Global Pivotal State contributing to freedom, peace, and prosperity around the world attests to its determination to facilitate, support and initiate. 

As President Yoon articulated in his speech at the UN last year, the more than 40 percent increase in our ODA this year is the single-most visible manifestation of our seriousness as a Global Pivotal State. 

Today, I wish to underscore four crucial areas that will be integral to Korea’s endeavors going forward.

First, we will act on our stated commitment to the humanitarian-development-peace nexus. 

As I alluded to earlier, the HDP nexus has a very special place in my heart, due to my experience as Chair of the Peacebuilding Commission and as President of the Executive Boards of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS while I was serving as the Korean Ambassador to the UN.

So I am personally committed to making sure Korea walks the talk.

Korea will spearhead investments that promote a nexus approach for conflict affected and fragile countries.  

We have increased our humanitarian assistance budget by 145% and significantly scaled up our support for fragility programs. 

KOICA is expected to sign new agreements with eight international organizations which are in the front-lines of the most challenging crisis settings. 

The Summit for Democracy to be hosted by Korea next week, and the first-ever Korea-Africa Summit in June, will provide useful platforms to discuss ways to overcome silos between the humanitarian, development, and peace actors. 

Also, as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for 2024-2025, Korea will seek to address challenges based on an integrated and coherent approach. 

Furthermore, recognizing the critical role of women in conflict resolution and peacebuilding, we have been championing the ‘Action with Women and Peace’ initiative. 

As you may know, the initiative was launched by former Foreign Minister Kang, who is with us here today. 

We plan to have the 6th International Conference on Action with Women and Peace later in the year. 

Second, Public-Private Partnership (PPP) will be another cornerstone of our commitment to SDG implementation.

Harnessing the dynamism and entrepreneurship of the private sector was a key ingredient in Korea’s economic transformation. 

In tandem with the increase in public resources through ODA, Korea will use its capacity as a convener to encourage catalytic investment from the private sector. 

A prime example is the robust public-private partnership demonstrated during the earthquake in Türkiye last year. 

At the time, Korea deployed its largest-ever disaster relief team, rescuing 8 survivors.

We subsequently sent two more teams comprising the Foreign Ministry, KOICA, and civil society. 

The teams successfully developed temporary housing projects in collaboration with the government of Türkiye, demonstrating the effectiveness of public-private partnerships.

KOICA is also actively promoting innovative development cooperation projects with domestic startups, and small, medium, and large enterprises. 

These projects are expected to crowd in private investment through blended finance and could play a catalytic role in closing the financing gap, while leveraging private expertise and technology. 

Third, digital and innovation domains will be front and center in our efforts.

During his speech at the UN and the G20 Summit last year, President Yoon emphasized that Korea will seek to build green ladders by supporting adaptation and mitigation efforts and contribute to advancing digital transformations in developing countries. 

To assist countries most vulnerable to climate change, the Korean government pledged an additional 300 million US dollars to the Green Climate Fund.

Korea will also help narrow the digital divide in education, healthcare, and financial services for developing countries – a centerpiece of the Digital Bill of Rights which the Korean government launched last year.

On Artificial Intelligence, we will actively contribute to advancing global governance discussions on AI in a way that unleashes the benefits of this new technology while mitigating its risks.

Key avenues for doing so include: Korean representation on the UN Advisory Body on AI, 

and our hosting of the AI summit and AI Global Forum in May, 

along with the 2nd Responsible Use of AI in the Military Domain Summit in September.

Finally, empowering and equipping future generations to lead transformative change, innovation, and global prosperity.

Our ODA will actively promote the development of youth education and capacity building programs, such as vocational and technical education and science and technology institutes. 

K-TVET(케이티벳), Korea’s flagship vocation centers, will spearhead these endeavors. 

We will also scale up our support for enhancing digital literacy among youth in developing countries and thereby help bridge the digital divide.  

The “KOICA Youth Initiative” will help train young leaders in seeking equitable and sustainable solutions to global challenges.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The path to achieving the SDGs is not shrouded in mystery. 

The path to getting there has been deliberated, debated and devised time and time again. 

The key is whether we as nations can rally the will to engage in the kind of international solidarity and public-private cooperation that revitalizes multilateralism.

I sincerely hope that the Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development helps to catalyze the will to act – and to act now. 

Thank you. /END/