(25 May 2012) Today, the Republic of Korea and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) signed a memorandum of understanding in which they agree to institutionalize and strengthen mutual cooperation projects in time.
The signing took place at the United Nations regional commission's headquarters in Santiago, Chile, chaired by Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC and Kim Sung-Hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Korea.
In the agreement, both parties committed to promoting joint cooperation activities on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as in other areas of common interest. For this purpose, they agreed to exchange information, technology and expertise.
Cooperation activities between ECLAC and the Republic of Korea include research and education projects, capacity development and the exchange of experts, researchers and interns in areas of mutual interest. Likewise, seminars, workshops and conferences will be organized.
"Korea is a point of reference and a development model for Latin America and the Caribbean, as it has achieved a structural transformation of its economy and society in barely 60 years," pointed out Alicia Bárcena to Minister Kim. "Korea offers a wide range of topics from which our region can learn and ECLAC could become a platform for accompanying this cooperation strategy between Korea and its main Latin American partners," mentioned Bárcena.
The Executive Secretary of ECLAC also recognized the leadership of the Republic of Korea concerning sustainable development and green growth issues, denoted by the designation of this country as co-chair of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), to take place in Brazil in june.
"ECLAC will actively support Korea and all Latin American and Caribbean nations along the Rio+20 process," expressed the Executive Secretary.
Minister Kim stressed that the signing of a framework agreement with ECLAC is a step forward in the establishment a long-term cooperation trail between Korea and Latin America and the Caribbean.
"Korea is deeply committed to green growth and we want this to be one of the main focuses of cooperation with ECLAC and the region," expressed Kim. He also mentioned that a milestone in this process would be the launch of the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) at Rio+20 as an international organization. Currently, this institution - created in Korea and promoting sustainable development and green growth projects - has 12 member States and is expected to gain momentum at the global conference.
During the meeting, both Bárcena and Kim highlighted the activities promoted by the Forum for East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC), consolidating this institution as a central agency for cooperation between the two regions. Kim emphasized that his country wishes to intensify its participation in this forum and mentioned the importance of the tasks carried out by the Vision Group - an institution under FOCALAE that promotes a substantial debate on the bi-regional dialogue agenda, to which ECLAC has also pledged its support.
The Executive Secretary of ECLAC paid an official visit to Korea during which she met with Korean government authorities and participated as keynote speaker in the High-Level Forum for Korea-Latin America and the Caribbean Partnership 2012. Bárcena thanked Minister Kim for the invitation and stressed the fact that Korea and ECLAC share the need to generate a paradigm shift in current production and consumption patterns. She also underlined that the postulates in the agreement are consistent with ECLAC's most recent thinking, which considers that achieving rights-based equality is key for a comprehensive development process.
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