Society

2019 Development Cooperation Day

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 The 2019 ASEAN- Republic of Korea commemorative summit took place in Busan from November 25 to 26. The first Mekong-ROK Summit took place in Busan, on November 27 in conjunction with the 2019 ASEAN-ROK Commemorative Summit. This commemorative summit was the biggest international diplomatic conference under the Moon Jae-in administration. As a part of the summit, the ‘2019 Development Cooperation Day’ was held as well. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) co-hosted this event. There were two sessions and a welcoming address by the minister of foreign affairs KANG Kyung-wha. The title of the first session was ‘ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)- ROK Development Cooperation for People-centered Peace and Prosperity’. The most significant event was the signing of the MOU on the development cooperation by Korea and five ASEAN countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam. Following the MOU signing, Korea and those five ASEAN countries make a settlement for New Southern ODA (Official Development Assistance) strategy program. Building digital partnership, expanding higher education, creating future peace communities between Korea and the Mekong countries, development of smart cities and building transportation infrastructure are the main parts of the strategy program. In the second session, LEE Mi-kung, the president of KOICA delivered the opening remarks. This session was a panel discussion entitled ‘30 Years of ASEAN- ROK Development Cooperation and Beyond’. The discussion had three themes – People, Peace, Prosperity. More specifically, each panel discussed people-centered ODA, peace-based ODA and ODA for co- prosperity. This year’s meeting served as an opportunity to review the development of ASEAN-Korea relations over the past 30 years and present the shared vision of ASEAN and the ROK for the next 30 years. Moreover, by elevating Mekong-Korea cooperation from the ministerial-level to the summit-level, the Korea will significantly strengthen its cooperation with the countries of the Mekong, the fastest-growing region of ASEAN.