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Republic of Korea
H.E. Mr. Han Seung-soo, Prime Minister

25 September 2008

Statement Summary

HAN SEUNG-SOO, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea, recalled the beginning of the fifty-sixth session of the General Assembly, 12 September 2001, when he had been the body’s President, and Member States had been united in calling for the international community to condemn terrorism.  Counter-terrorism capacities had been strengthened at all levels through the cooperation that followed.  Nevertheless, terrorism continued to take the lives of innocent people in many parts of the world.  It was time to root out terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, he declared.

He noted that the Republic of Korea was the first country to have the establishment of its Government recognized by the United Nations through a General Assembly resolution, 60 years ago, and that with the Organization’s support, today his country was a full-fledged democracy with a vibrant economy.  The United Nations was now leading the way to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and addressing the global food and energy crises.  He called for a green and pro-poor growth model in the face of climate change, which was threatening agriculture and leading to more frequent and intense natural disasters.  Growth based on cheap fossil fuels was driving up the prices of food and oil, he added.

He believed that a low-carbon, green growth paradigm was the way of the future, and supported a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions worldwide by 2050.  He stressed the importance of high-level commitment to bolster political momentum on the issues of the environment and development, and called for a new World Summit focused on climate change and sustainable development needs in 2012, suggesting that it be held in Asia.

The global food crisis contributed to instability and threatened to reverse many development gains already achieved.  The response had to be comprehensive and timely, he said.  In addition to assisting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, his country planned to offer developing countries $100 million, as well as its first-hand expertise in agricultural development over the next three years in areas such as farming infrastructure, technology and policy-making.

The Republic of Korea supported United Nations reform, particularly the Secretary-General’s initiatives to make the Secretariat more accountable, efficient and responsive.  The Security Council needed to be more representative, accountable and efficient.  Reform of that body should be carried out in a way that united Member States, not divided them.  He went on to call for strengthening disarmament and non-proliferation regimes and for the expeditious resolution of the “North Korean nuclear issue”.  He urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to resume disablement measures immediately.  As progress was made towards denuclearization, he stood ready to support economic growth in the North.  He looked forward to full restoration of inter-Korean dialogue.

[Source: GA/10754]