[Speech (16.6.30)] 2016 Global SAEMAUL UNDONG Forum Wrap-Up Session



2016 Global SAEMAUL UNDONG Forum Wrap-Up Session Speech (June 30, 2016)


Saemaul Undong in the Era of the Sustainable Development Goals


In Shik KIM

President of KOICA


 Honorable guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is a great honor for me to give the closing comments of this successful 3rd Global Saemaul Undong Forum .


I am happy to address you today as president of KOICA. KOICA has implemented community development projects in many countries and actively adopted Saemaul Undong to rural development since our establishment in 1991.


Today, I would like to thank Gyeongsangbuk-do Provincial Government, Youngnam University, the Global Development Foundation and Global Saemaul Undong Forum for meaningful event.


In September of 2015, UN member countries adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which expand on the millennium development goals (MDGs) as the development agenda in the Post 2015 era.


The SDGs focus on ending poverty and achieving sustainable life for all, including women, people with disabilities, and small farmers.


The objectives of the SDGs are almost the same as those of Saemaul Undong.

Through Saemaul Undong, Korea was able to overcome poverty, improve the environment for education, and succeed in including everyone from all parts of society.


In order to succeed, the most important thing was to reform the people with a ‘Can-Do Spirit’.


As you know well, Saemaul Undong is based on three basic principles: Diligence, Self-help and Cooperation. Each of these principles relies on the voluntary participation of the local residents and strong leadership from community leaders. In this sense, I would like to express my deep respect to all of you who have participated in this forum.


Earlier this month, I accompanied Korean President Park Geun-hye on an official visit of three African countries, Ethiopia, Uganda, and Kenya.


We had the opportunity to visit Saemaul Undong project sites in each region and exchange opinions with local Saemaul leaders. In Uganda, leaders from both countries attended the opening ceremony for the National Farmers’ Leadership Center. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni mentionted that learning the spirit and philosophy of Saemaul Undong was more important than receiving agricultural technology from Korea.


In Asia, Ye Tint Tun, Director General of Department of Agriculture in Myanmar expects the spread of a spirit of community from Saemaul Undong. He also noted that beyond rural development, Saemaul Undong is the change of people’s mind.


Yes, it is true that Saemaul Undong is a revolution of the mind.


Distinguished guests, Ladies, and gentlemen,


I would like to take this chance to highlight the importance of the roles of the private sector and government in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.


First, financial resources from ODA are limited. The SDGs aim to raise the quality of life of all people economically, environmentally and socially in a sustainable manner. Yet ODA alone provides only 5% of the financial resources needed for implementation of the SDGs. In order to meet these financial demands, we must have participation from the private sector.



Second, backward linkages can lead to sustainable growth. In effect, an increase in the income of agricultural business is related to the increase in the income of the farmers. It is not enough to simply provide raw materials such as seed potatoes or breeding pigs. If social enterprise using locally produced potatoes and pigs can be established, this will result in more employment opportunities for youth in the region, and ultimately, reduction of poverty.


Now, I would like to share some successful examples of corporate participation on Saemaul projects.


First is the Baringo project. In cooperation with a corporate partner, KOICA implemented a community development project through supporting the Baringo residents to help them improve the export market of coffee, which is a primary product of Kenya.


Another good example is the CJ-KOICA Saemaul CSV project in Vietnam. CJ, a leading Korean food company, educated the people of Ninh Thuan on techniques to properly cultivate red chili peppers, which would later be exported back to Korea and eventually provide a stable source of income for Ninh Thuan.


Korea has unique first-hand experience in development in Saemaul Undong. It was the spirit of Saemaul Undong that spread through the workers in cities and factories and rapidly increased productivity, forever changing the world’s perspective on Korea.

Active business led to stable jobs, corporations developed new technologies, and economic growth transformed Korea from a poor country into one of Asia’s dragons. The spirit of Saemaul Undong will not only bring rural development, but also foster business mindset for youths and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Honorable guest, Ladies and gentlemen,


This forum has been a good opportunity for us to see that Saemaul Undong can change millions of people, and go over boundaries at a time of rapid changes.


Some of you are the leaders of your countries and others will be leaders in the future. I hope that the Saemaul Spirit we shared at this forum will contribute to the new model of success in your countries.


During my recent trip to Africa, I learned an interesting Ethiopian proverb that I wish to share with you: “When spider webs unite, they can tie up a lion”. I wish every one of you success in spreading the sense of community through your leadership when you return home.


In conclusion, I would like to show my deep appreciation for Professor Choi Oe Chool, president of the Global Saemaul Forum and his staff. Without their efforts, we can not expect today’s event so successful.



Thank you very much.



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