KOICA President Lee Mi-kyung pledged to make an effort to build peace



KOICA President Lee Mi-kyung pledged to make an effort to build peace

- “There is no human rights without peace”, peace on the Korean Peninsula is needed for world peace

- KOICA President Lee Mi-kyung stresses the importance of building peaceful environment, continuing the ‘peace spirit’ from the PyeongChang Olympics

- “The root causes of violence and conflict must be removed to build and sustain peace”

KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) co-hosted the ‘Pyeongchang Global Peace Forum 2019’ from February 9 to 11 at Alpensia Convention Center, in partnership with the Pyeongchang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic & Paralympic Winter Games, Gangwon Province, and Pyeongchang City. At the forum, it has been suggested that proactive effort and willpower are needed to achieve peace.

KOICA President Lee Mi-kyung mentioned at the Round-table as a keynote speaker that “as it is witnessed in the past year on the Korean Peninsula, peace is achieved gradually with everyone’s effort. Through PGPF 2019, she also mentioned, “Peace on the Korean Peninsula is in fact, world peace,” and announced a plan to “incorporate peace in Korea’s development cooperation programs and launch ‘Peace-based Projects’ from 2019 to 2021, which will take a comprehensive approach to peace, development, and humanitarian assistance.

In fact, 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics, was a significant turning point for peace on the Korean Peninsula as Kim Yeo-jung, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the South as a special envoy. As a result, it was followed by the Inter-Korean Summit in Panmunjom in April, the first North Korea-U.S. Summit in June, and another Inter-Korean Summit in Pyongyang in September, creating a peace atmosphere. At this moment where the second North Korea-U.S. Summit is approaching, the discussion on peace at this Pyeongchang Peace Forum is becoming more meaningful.

President Lee explained, "the reason we are here today is to discuss how to revive the spirit of peace on the Korean Peninsula and achieve world peace.” "Without peace on the Korean Peninsula, there is no peace in Northeast Asia, and without peace in Northeast Asia, there wouldn’t be world peace." President Lee also stressed that peace is not just passively maintaining the state of no war, but actively addressing the root causes of violence and conflicts and preventing them. This is in line with the UN and the World Bank's report, "Pathways for Peace," emphasizing the importance of conflict prevention.

KOICA has provided more than $20 million to the UNHCR for the past five years, to prevent conflicts in the international community and resolve refugee issues. KOICA has also decided to expand the KMCO project to send global talent to the UNHCR.

President Lee quoted what Bishop Desmond Tutu of the Republic of South Africa said at the Hague Peace Conference, "If you dream of peace alone, it's only a dream, but if you dream of peace together, it becomes a reality." She added, "We should all participate in building peace."

Meanwhile, at the forum, the Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Former Polish President Lech Walesa made a special speech, heralding the importance of world peace. In addition, Lisa Clark, the Co-President of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization International Peace Bureau (IPB), and Tatsuya Yoshioka, the President of International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, spoke at the Round-table as well.

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