Outcome of the 4th Korea-Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
Minister of Foreign Affairs Euiyong Chung virtually held the 4th Korea-Pacific Islands Foreign Ministers’ Meeting with foreign ministers and representatives of fourteen Pacific Island Countries (PICs) on November 16. The 14 countries of the PICs are: Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of Fiji, Republic of Kiribati, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of Nauru, Niue, Republic of Palau, Independent State of Papua New Guinea, Independent State of Samoa, Solomon Islands, Kingdom of Tonga, Tuvalu, and Republic of Vanuatu. The meeting takes place every three years. The first meeting was held in May 2011, the second meeting in November 2014 and the third meeting in December 2017. The 4th meeting was held under the theme of “Partnership for a Resilient Pacific and a Co-prosperous Future.” Minister Chung and representatives from the PICs discussed in detail the progress and accomplishments in cooperation projects in the areas of development cooperation, climate and environment, and maritime affairs and fisheries. In addition, the two sides discussed further steps to expand cooperation in the future. In order to take the Korea-PICs relations to the next level, the two sides agreed to elevate the Korea-PICs dialogue mechanism to the summit level and shorten the host cycle of the Ministerial Meeting from three to two years. The two sides reaffirmed that people-to-people exchanges and economic interaction between the ROK and the PICs serve as the basis for building solid ties of partnership and decided to actively seek ways to boost exchanges in trade and tourism between the ROK and the PICs, which have been restricted due to COVID-19. The PICs expressed appreciation for the ROK’s financial aid and contribution worth about $1.33 million to support the PICs' COVID-19 response. In particular, Chung and Dalton Tagelagi, Premier and Foreign Minister of Niue, agreed to establish official diplomatic ties to develop the bilateral relationship between Korea and Niue and to continue consultations on related procedure. Chung shared the Korean government’s plan to scale up Green ODA to the PICs to promote green growth and capacity-building for responding to and adapting to climate change. The PICs side acknowledged the Korean government’s ODA in a wide range of areas including health care, climate change response, and energy, and also noted with gratitude the support through the Korea-Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Cooperation Fund for various cooperation projects such as controlling illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, predicting climate, and promoting trade and tourism. The PICs side noted the enhanced cooperation between the ROK and the PICs in various fields, including the development of a monitoring system to control IUU fishing, marine environment management, building maritime infrastructure such as harbor facilities, and ocean thermal energy power plants. The PICs side expressed particular appreciation for the project of World Fisheries University (WFU) initiated by the Korean government for building the developing countries’ capacity on fisheries and aquaculture. Minister Chung explained the Korean government’s efforts to advance inter-Korean dialogue, engagement, and cooperation and its proposal to declare an end to the Korean War in order to achieve complete denuclearization and establish permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, and the PICs expressed their support for them. The meeting served as an opportunity for Korea and the PICs to reaffirm their will to jointly respond to global challenges and strengthen communication in the areas of common interest. Against this background, the Korean government will continue to maintain the momentum of dialogue and cooperation for the enhancement of resilience and a co-prosperous future of the Pacific region.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Meets with Consultative Board of Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat
Chung met with members of the 6th Consultative Board of the Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat (TCS), Secretary General Ou Boqian and Deputy Secretaries-General Bek Bum-hym and Sakata Natsuko on November 17. Chung stated that even though Korea, China and Japan are neighboring countries, the three countries could have different opinions on some issues. However, he stressed that as the three countries share similar cultural backgrounds, they could overcome differences and move towards co-prosperity through constant cooperation. Chung looked forward to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games to serve as an opportunity for trilateral cooperation to grow further. He congratulated the TCS on marking the 10th anniversary of its establishment and expressed hope that a fresh momentum of trilateral cooperation will be built under the new Secretary General’s leadership. Secretary General Ou and the other members of the TCS delegation extended appreciation to the Korean government for its support and asked for continuous attention and support of the Korean government in order for the TCS to become a key institutionalized cooperative body of Northeast Asia. Ou added that the TCS will continue its efforts to maintain the momentum for trilateral cooperation by seeking out and implementing future-oriented cooperation projects in such areas as ensuring supply chain stability, digital economy and smart cities.
Outcome of Korea-Gambia Foreign Ministers’ Luncheon Meeting
Chung had a luncheon meeting at his official residence with Gambian Foreign Minister Mamadou Tangara, who visited Korea from November 17 to 20 in order to attend the “6th Busan Global Partnership Forum.” Chung appreciated that The Gambia had achieved a peaceful transition of power through the election in December 2016 and made a leap to a democratic state, and committed to continuing support for The Gambia’s democratic consolidation and socio-economic development. Tangara expressed appreciation for Korea’s support for the Gambia’s democratic consolidation and stated that Korea would be acknowledged as a contributor to The Gambia’s democratization history. (※The Korean government contributed to the establishment of the UN Peacebuilding Fund ($3 million) for The Gambia in January 2017, which helped establish the Trust and Reconciliation Commission and draw up its national development plan.)
Chung recognized The Gambia’s contribution to UN peacekeeping operations (UN PKO) and asked for The Gambia’s participation in the “Seoul Peacekeeping Ministerial” to be held in Seoul from December 7 to 8. Chung expressed his gratitude for The Gambia’s support for Korea in various elections in international organizations and requested interest in and support for Korea’s bid to host the 2030 World Expo in Busan. Tangara pledged Gambia’s constant support in the international arena and expected the expansion of bilateral cooperation in various areas including on the global stage. (Source: South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs) <PowerKorea>
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