4th Preparatory Committee Meeting for the 2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial
1. The 4th Preparatory Committee meeting for the 「2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial*」 was held at the main building of the Ministry of National Defense at 4pm (KST) on Wednesday, September 29, and was jointly presided over by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong and Minister of National Defense Suh Wook.
* (Main Theme) Technology and Medical Capacity Building (Sessions) Sustaining Peace; Partnership, Training and Capacity Building; Performance and Accountability; Protection of Civilians, and Safety and Security
◦ The Preparatory Committee – composed of the foreign minister and the national defense minister as co-chairs, and vice-minister level officials from 10 relevant ministries* – closely monitored the preparatory process of the Ministerial, which is scheduled to take place in December, and discussed how to improve cooperation among the ministries, especially regarding the preventive measures against COVID-19.
* Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of National Defense, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Ministry of Science and ICT, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, National Intelligence Service, Office for Government Policy Coordination/ Prime Minister’s Secretariat, ROK Joint Chiefs of Staff, National Police Agency
2. The members of the Preparatory Committee were briefed on the progress of the preparations and planning for the Ministerial by the 2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Preparatory Secretariat, and discussed approaches to host the Ministerial under the ongoing pandemic and the ensuing quarantine measures against COVID-19. The Committee members were also briefed on Korea’s pledges on peacekeeping, which have long been under review by the Korean government, and plans on holding various exhibitions as side events.
◦ The Preparatory Secretariat plans to present Women, Peace and Security seminars, JSA tour with the chief delegates, and the Korea peace process exhibition as side events. At Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, there also will be a series of exhibitions on the history of UN peacekeeping, on UN Smart Camp suggesting the future vision of UN field missions using advanced IT technology, and on the state-of-the-art technological equipment for peacekeeping that could be used on the field.
◦ The foreign ministry and the national defense ministry promised to strengthen their cooperation on conference promotion and quarantine measures for the successful hosting of the Ministerial, considering the current pandemic situation.
3. Minister of Foreign Affairs Chung Eui-yong said, “Korea shall not only lead discussions on international peace and security on the global stage, but also promote concrete pledges made by member states to improve peacekeeping.” He added, “Korean government will reinforce its commitment to establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, and seek support from UN and the international community.”Additionally, as the Ministerial takes place in Seoul in the year that marks Korea’s 30th anniversary of UN membership, he said, “We should enhance visibility of Korea’s contribution to peacekeeping, and offer an important milestone on the journey towards another 30 years together with UN.”
4. Minister of National Defense Suh Wook reiterated, “Korea with its strong security capabilities, should establish peace on the Korean Peninsula and expand its contribution with respect to preventing conflicts and building peace in the international community.” He added, “Korea’s pledges to be made by utilizing the nation’s strengths, such as technology, health care and training, will be a good example for the rest of the world, offering meaningful contribution to the international community.” He also said, “Based on the outcome of the discussions from this 4th Preparatory Committee meeting, detailed plans and pledges will be further developed.”
5. 「2021 Seoul UN Peacekeeping Ministerial」which is the 4th of its kind to take place for the first time in Asia this year is the largest and the highest conference on UN peacekeeping. The Ministerial was launched to invite foreign and defense ministers from 155 countries*, international organization representatives, and experts from private sectors to discuss pressing issues on peacekeeping, and seek and review pledges from the member states.
* Members of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) under the UN General Assembly Fourth Committee
◦ This year’s Peacekeeping Ministerial in Seoul will be the largest ministerial level conference to take place in Korea amid the global pandemic, which is expected to stage meaningful contributions and cooperation through active discussions on peacekeeping among foreign and defense ministers from the UN member states.