Foreign Minister Attends the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

1. Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se attended the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Bonn, Germany, from February 16 to 17, and played a leading role in discussing diplomatic responses to global challenges, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, sustaining peace, and assisting Africa in its development, thereby solidifying the leadership of the ROK as a middle power in the G20.

2. In the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting held amid the rising uncertainty in the global economy and geopolitical conflicts, G20 Foreign Ministers agreed on the importance of diplomatic collaboration to prevent global crises and solve inequality which causes conflicts. The Ministers also shared the view that the G20 needs to show leadership in building mutual understanding and encouraging common efforts to respond to global challenges.

3. The G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting was attended by Foreign Ministers from 27 countries, including 7 invited countries, and new UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The participants exchanged their candid views in four sessions, including two informal dinners.

4. In session 1 (2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development) held on February 16, G20 Foreign Ministers agreed on the importance of accomplishing sustainable development goals (SDGs) to build an inclusive and stable international community, and decided to work together in coordinating G20 countries' policy efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

5. In session 2 (sustaining peace in a complex world) held on February 17, Minister Yun explained that sustainable development can be achieved only through sustaining peace, and stressed that the G20's active role is necessary for the UN's "sustaining peace" initiative to be implemented effectively.

o Minister Yun proposed ways for the G20 to contribute to sustaining peace, including dissemination of prevention-focused culture, a holistic and comprehensive approach to peace-building activities, and promotion of a partnership among regional organizations, financial organizations and the private sector. Stressing that these can supplement the UN's efforts for sustaining peace, Minister Yun said that the ROK, which is the chair of the UN Peacebuilding Commission this year, will actively play a bridging role between major UN agencies, including the Security Council, in order to facilitate the implementation of the sustaining peace initiative.

o In particular, Minister Yun proposed that the G20 build a "Coalition for Peace" consisting of various stakeholders, including international financial organizations and civil society, in order to establish a global partnership for sustaining peace.

o New US Secretary of State Tillerson welcomed the ROK's chairmanship of the UN Peacebuilding Commission and reaffirmed the US's consistent support for the UN's peacebuilding activities. Many other participants also spoke highly of Minister Yun's remarks and proposals. The Mexican Foreign Minister especially called North Korea's development of nuclear weapons a challenge to global peace and security, and urged G20 countries to join efforts to condemn it.

6. In session 3 (assisting Africa in its development) held on February 17, participants stressed that Africa's sustainable peace and security and its ability to develop its economy on its own are necessary for global stability and prosperity in this interconnected society. They agreed to work together to strengthen the African Union (AU)'s capacity.

o Minister Yun explained the ROK's various efforts to contribute to Africa's peace and sustainable development, including supporting industrialization through youth capacity-building, and increasing cooperation with the AU and other regional organizations to maintain peace in the region. Minister Yun emphasized that such efforts are in line with the UN's SDGs and the AU's Vision for 2063.

7. In an informal dinner hosted by the German Foreign Minister on February 16, participants discussed the way forward for international order, as there is growing concern over the legitimacy of the current multilateral international order, including the UN, Bretton Woods and the NPT, which have been established after the Great Depression and wars in the early 20th century.

o Minister Yun stressed that as North Korea's development of nuclear weapons and missiles poses a direct challenge to the international community's efforts to create the rules-based international order, including the UN Charter and Security Council resolutions, the international community's stern action different from previous ones is necessary. In response, many countries said that they can't agree with Minister Yun more.

8. It is significant that the G20, which has functioned as the highest-level cooperative mechanism for global economic cooperation, dealt with political and security issues separately through the Foreign Ministers' meeting. This will help the G20 serve as a forum for discussing global leadership and diplomatic cooperation to address a variety of global challenges, including diplomatic and security issues, as well as economic issues. Also, the latest Foreign Ministers' meeting was an opportunity to expand the G20's agenda to include the North Korean nuclear issue, which threatens peace in Northeast Asia and the world.

9. The G20 summit will take place in Hamburg, Germany, from July 8 to 9 this year. The leaders of G20 member countries will build upon the outcome of the discussion on ways to respond to global challenges, held during the latest G20 Foreign Ministers' meeting.

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs Republic of Korea

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