Seoul, Republic of Korea

23 August 2013

Readout of the Secretary-General’s meeting with H.E. Ms. Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea

The Secretary-General met today with H.E. Ms. Park Geun-hye, President of the Republic of Korea.

During their meeting, the Secretary-General expressed to President Park Geun-hye his appreciation for her strong support to the United Nations. He also expressed deep gratitude for the increasingly diversified contribution by the Republic of Korea (ROK) to the Organization.

The Secretary-General noted the country’s active work on international peace and security as a non-Permanent Member of the Security Council, as well as its leadership on sustainable development, climate change, women and children’s health and global education.

On climate change, the Secretary-General said the ROK's prowess in green growth technology could help other countries and he thanked the ROK for hosting the Green Climate Fund. They also discussed the Millennium Development Goals, the post-2015 development agenda and sustainable energy. The Secretary-General thanked the President for reaffirming the ROK's commitment to increase its overseas development assistance, and said the country could set an example for others by doing so despite economic constraints.

The Secretary-General commended President Park’s commitment to durable peace and security on the Korean Peninsula through building trust between the two Koreas, as well as to promoting an era of peace and cooperation in Northeast Asia. The Secretary-General reiterated his support for the normalization of operations in the Kaesong Industrial Complex and family reunions, as well the recent proposal by the President to establish an international peace park in the Demilitarized Zone as a symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation, dialogue and cooperation. He assured the President that the United Nations would be a reliable partner in that quest.

'The two leaders agreed on the importance of continuing humanitarian assistance to vulnerable groups in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including in particular young children, despite political constraints. The Secretary-General said he appreciated the ROK's recent decision to contribute to various UN programmes. He said he hoped that other donors would respond positively to the humanitarian appeal recently launched by the UN on DPRK.

The President and the Secretary-General also discussed Syria, including allegations about the use of chemical weapons there, Egypt and the Middle East.