Policy Updates

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South Korea hosts fifth International Conference on Action with Women and Peace

November 30, 2023 | South Korea, Gender Equality | Share this update

On November 30, 2023, the South Korean MOFA hosted the 5th International Conference on Action with Women and Peace under the theme of the promoting women, peace, and security agenda at the UN Security Council.

The conference was convened as part of the Women, Peace and Security Initiative, launched by the MOFA in 2018. The initiative has aimed to contribute to international discourse on women, peace, and security.

Over 40 speakers and more than 300 total participants, including representatives from key countries, international organizations, and civil society, engaged in in-depth discussions on ways to advance women, peace, and security within the framework of the UN Security Council and conflict areas.

South Korean Foreign Minister Jin Park announced in his opening remarks that South Korea plans to contribute to this agenda as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2024 and 2025. This conference served as an opportunity for the South Korean government to express its commitment to the women, peace, and security agenda and bring awareness to the topic.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)News article - Seoulpn (in Korean)

South Korea expands agriculture, forestry, fisheries ODA

November 24, 2023 | South Korea, Agriculture, Agricultural R&D | Share this update

On November 24, 2023, South Korea’s CIDC announced its intention to double ODA to agriculture, forestry, and fisheries by 2030.

This commitment is intended to systematically contribute to overcoming food security crises and other related challenges. South Korea's ODA to agriculture, forestry, and fisheries totaled KRW249.7 billion (US$190 million) in 2021.

South Korea's partner countries have shown an increased interest in agricultural ODA. There has also been growing interest in South Korea’s unique development experience, transforming from a recipient of international food assistance to a net donor country within a relatively short period of time.

South Korea also pledged to expand the scale of food assistance from 50,000 tons of food in 2023 to 100,000 tons in 2024. South Korea also announced its intention to strengthen multilateral cooperation to take a leading role in the agricultural ODA.

News article - Agrinet (in Korean)

South Korea reaffirms plans to expand CEPI collaboration

November 22, 2023 | South Korea, Global Health | Share this update

On November 21, 2023, South Korean Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Ki-hwan Kwon met with CEPI Chairwoman Jane Halton.

Kwon praised CEPI for its contributions to the development the of COVID-19 vaccine and to advancing equitable access to all vaccines. He expressed the expectation that the South Korean government would expand collaboration with CEPI in preparation for future pandemics.

Holton stated that CEPI plans to expand collaboration with South Korean government bodies, companies, and SMEs to address future infectious diseases. She highlighted the strengthened cooperation between Korea and CEPI during its strategic period of from 2022-2026, which is slated to support vaccine R&D as well as manufacturing.

The South Korean government noted that it plans to continue its efforts to be a responsible member of the international community by cooperating with numerous global health initiatives.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)News article - Medicalprime (in Korean)News article - Seoulpn (in Korean)

South Korea hosts first World Health City Forum

November 20, 2023 | South Korea, Global Health | Share this update

From November 20-22, 2023, South Korea hosted the first World Health City Forum in partnership with the Incheon city government, Seoul National University, Ewha Womans University, and Yonsei University.

20 countries and international organizations including the WHO and GCF, as well as academics, experts, government officials, and business representatives gathered to discuss globalization of risks and increased global safety.

The forum invited KDCA commissioner Youngmee Jee and US economist Jeremy Rifkin to deliver keynote speeches. ASEAN government ministers and ambassadors discussed healthcare cooperation and smart-city initiatives in anticipation of future pandemics.

Following thorough review and final consensus from the participants, the Incheon Declaration was officially adopted. Its priorities included:

  • Improving equity, fairness, and social justice in the health sector;
  • Strengthening people-centered community care services;
  • Fostering participatory governance for inclusive health, safety, and resilience;
  • Building decarbonized, resilient, and sustainable cities in the face of climate change;
  • Creating an ecologically sustainable urban environment; and
  • Using data-based intelligence for smart cities.
Press release - Incheon Metropolitan City (in Korean)News article - Jeonmae (in Korean)

South Korea hosts 2023 World Bio Summit

November 19, 2023 | South Korea, Global Health | Share this update

From November 20-21, 2023, South Korea co-hosted the 2nd World Bio Summit with the WHO to discuss building pandemic preparedness and response systems, featuring representatives from national governments, the scientific community, the private sector, and international organizations in the vaccine and biofields.

The summit invited representatives from the ADB, CEPI, IVI, and FIND.

South Korean 2nd Vice Minister of Health and Welfare Min-soo Park held a meeting with Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Laos, CEPI, and the WHO. Representatives held in-depth discussions on expanding the capabilities of vaccine production and development at the government, corporate, and international organization levels. In particular, the KDCA pledged to expand its cooperation on pandemic response with Gavi and UKHSA.

Press release - Ministry of Health and Welfare (in Korean)Press release - Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (in Korean)News article - Bosa (in Korean)News article - Medical Observer (in Korean)News article - Medifonews (in Korean)

South Korea attends high-level DAC meeting, highlights partnerships

November 16, 2023 | South Korea | Share this update

On November 15, 2023, South Korean Deputy Minister for Multilateral and Global Affairs Ki-hwan Kwon attended the 53th high-level meeting of the OECD DAC.

Partner countries, World Bank representatives, CSOs, and DAC member states discussed the expansion of the DAC partnership, securing funding for the implementation of the SDGs, and the impact of geopolitical challenges on development assistance. Kwon highlighted the need for the DAC states to strengthen partnerships with entities including partner countries, CSOs, international organizations, and private enterprises. He emphasized the importance of actively leveraging comparative advantages and supporting the achievement of the SDGs in the international community.

Member states adopted a communiqué recognizing unprecedented global crises such as climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war of aggression in Ukraine. Leaders committed to continuing global solidarity to meet increasing demand for humanitarian assistance while promoting resilient, sustainable, and balanced development.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)News article - Seoulpn (in Korean)

South Korea highlights importance of increased ODA budget

November 16, 2023 | South Korea | Share this update

On November 15, 2023, the South Korean Office for International Development Cooperation held a policy briefing session where Deputy Minister for Development Policy and Planning Kyung Pil Han highlighted a vision for South Korean ODA.

The session took place during 2023 Development Cooperation Week and aimed to enhance communication among key development-related ministries. Development Cooperation Week, from November 20 to 24, annually celebrates the week that South Korea became a DAC member state.

The ODA budget for 2024 was set at a record high of KRW6.5 trillion (US$5.3 billion), more than doubling ODA levels from 2019. ODA is considered to be a driving force for South Korea’s own development, functioning in a positive feedback cycle. Han addressed concerns about reduced assistance effectiveness or budget duplication by assuring that his office is aware of the concerns and is continuously implementing improvement measures.

News article - Dailian (in Korean)

Experts call for increased South Korean humanitarian assistance cooperation with NGOs

November 14, 2023 | South Korea | Share this update

On November 14, 2023, the South Korean newspaper Chosun called for greater coordination between South Korean humanitarian assistance and NGOs.

A series of humanitarian disasters, including the 2023 Türkiye and Moroccan earthquakes, have incited flows of humanitarian assistance ranging from emergency relief to reconstruction, recovery, and prevention. 99% of the South Korean humanitarian assistance annual budget, totaling KRW300 billion (US$230 million), is allocated to emergency relief. This funding is directed to local governments and international organizations under the UN. Domestic NGOs also engage in humanitarian assistance in the same disaster areas, but resources from donor governments are often not effectively shared with these organizations.

Following the February 2023 earthquake in Türkiye, the MOFA and three domestic NGOs jointly raised a fund of KRW13 billion (US$10 million) for ongoing projects after including NGOs for the first time in the KDRT. International development experts called for increased public-private partnerships in humanitarian assistance and envisioned new cooperation models, particularly given the significant increase in next year’s ODA budget to KRW6.5 trillion (US$5.3 billion).

South Korea's humanitarian assistance budget comes from three categories of ODA:

  • Overseas emergency relief;
  • Strengthening humanitarian assistance capacity; and
  • Public-private partnership in humanitarian assistance.

However, the humanitarian assistance budget allocated for public-private partnerships has remained unchanged for five consecutive years, even though the MOFA’s humanitarian budget has steadily increased. Experts recommended out that South Korea’s funding to NGOs should increase by 19.9% of the total budget. They also recommended that donors providing humanitarian assistance through NGOs should acknowledge and utilize the expertise of local NGOs. These efforts are intended to maximize the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance by utilizing local networks of NGOs.

News article - Chosun (in Korean)

South Korea, USA, Japan host first trilateral development and humanitarian assistance policy dialogue

October 31, 2023 | South Korea, US, Japan | Share this update

From October 29-30, 2023, South Korea, the US, and Japan hosted their first trilateral development and humanitarian assistance policy dialogue in Honolulu, Hawaii as a follow-up to the summit of the three countries‘ leaders in August 2023.

Director-General for Development Cooperation of the South Korean MOFA Do-yeon Won, assistant to USAID Administrator of the Bureau for Planning, Learning, and Resource Management Michele Sumilas, and Director-General of the Japanese MOFA Endo Kazuya attended the talk.

The three discussed methods to bolster coordination in development policy, including cooperation among implementation agencies and humanitarian assistance. They also reaffirmed the agreement reached at the Camp David Summit in August 2023. Also discussed was the possibility of expanding aid cooperation into new areas such as cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, as well as response to climate change. The dialogue was noted as an opportunity to continue building momentum for cooperation, especially in the Indo-Pacific region.

Press release - Ministry of Foreign Affairs (in Korean)News article - Newspim (in Korean)

South Korea enhances contribution for global solidarity

October 19, 2023 | South Korea | Share this update

On October 19, 2023, South Korean Prime Minister Duck-soo Han met with President of the UN General Assembly’s 78th session Dennis Francis to highlight South Korea’s contribution for global solidarity and discuss cooperation between South Korea and the UN.

Han stated the importance of international solidarity in an era of unprecedented global complex crises. He added the South Korean government will enhance its contributions to the international community, particularly in areas including development, climate, and digital divide reduction.

Han noted that South Korea will strive to contribute to international peace, security, and sustainable development by assuming the role of a non-permanent member of the UNSC for 2024-2025.

Press release - Office for Government Policy Coordination, Prime Minister’s Secretariat (in Korean)News article - Yonhapnews (in Korean)






US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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