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|Title||Statement by Mr. Kim Bong-hyun, Deputy Minister at the Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations|
At the outset, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Secretary-General and Mr. High Representative for their insightful remarks. My appreciation also goes to their unwavering commitment to the promotion of intercultural dialogue and understanding.
Mr. High Representative,
My delegation notes with pleasure that the Alliance is consolidating its place as a global platform for intercultural dialogue and understanding. The fifth Annual Report of the High Representative, published last month, clearly shows that the Alliance has transformed itself into an action- and result-oriented initiative aiming at real changes on the ground. Despite its progress, however, recurring incidents stemming from cultural and religious hatred and intolerance remind us that accommodation of freedom of expression and religious intolerance remain as an urgent and daunting challenge to all of us and the Alliance.
Against this backdrop, I would like to underline the following three points with regard to the agenda of today’s meeting.
Second, the Alliance’s activities at the national and regional level should be further promoted through specific and practical projects and programs to address the root causes of extremism, intolerance and hatred. My delegation supports the High Representative’s proposal, contained in the Annex four to the Annotated Agenda of this meeting, to further develop the regional footing of the Alliance. It includes through a better implementation of existing Regional Strategies for South Eastern Europe and for the Mediterranean. In this regard, I believe serious consideration should also be given to the possibility of similar cooperation mechanisms in other regions as well. Furthermore, the Alliance should continue to encourage the adoption and implementation of National Plans. The Republic of Korea adopted its National Plan in May last year, and is working diligently to implement it through coordinated efforts of all relevant administrative agencies.
Third, my delegation shares the concern of the High Representative over the limited resources of the Alliance amid the growing demands for its activities with the enlargement of the Group of Friends. In this regard, we note with pleasure that a new Replenishment Mechanism for Alliance’s Trust Fund was initiated with the establishment of Partners’ Assembly comprising diverse funding bases, including governments, international organizations, foundations, corporations and individuals. Given the nature of the Alliance as a multi-stakeholder initiative, we would like to encourage the Alliance to make continued efforts to diversify its funding sources, including, in particular, private sectors.
Mr. High Representative,
In conclusion, I would like to once again express the firm commitment of the Korean Government to the noble cause of the Alliance.
Thank you. /End/