Attended by over 600 people including state and international organization officials, development cooperation experts, etc. from 60 countries
'Saemaul development in the era of the sustainable development goals'... Held on the 29th at Gyeongju Hyundai Hotel
Demand for 'Saemaul Undong' continuously rising in international community, largest-ever forum planned for next year
[June 29, 2016]
The '2016 Global Saemaul Undong Forum' was held at Gyeongju in order to spread a global consensus to overcome global poverty and to search for international development and cooperation plans for emerging nations.
This forum was designed to share the academic value of Saemaul Undong and the development experience of Korea with emerging nations, while resolving the common task of the global community to eradicate poverty with the global Saemaul spirit of 'industriousness, self-help, cooperation, sharing, volunteering, and creativity'. This forum, which was held under the theme, 'Saemaul Development in the Era of the Sustainable Development Goals', was held at the Gyeongju Hyundai Hotel from the 28th to the 30th.
This forum was attended by high ranking domestic and foreign figures such as Former Prime Minister Jung Hong-won, Myanmar Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Aung Thu, Sri Lanka Minister of Primary Industries Daya Gamage, Former Minister of Housing, Construction and Sanitation Milton Von Hesse La Serna of Peru, as well as over 600 people from 60 countries and international organizations including international development and cooperation experts, NGO representatives, academic experts, and activists. They sat in to listen to a keynote speech on the practicing and sharing of the Saemaul spirit and mutual global prosperity, and also made academic presentations and held discussions.
This forum was co-hosted by five institutes such as the Global Saemaul Forum, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Yeungnam University, Global Development Foundation, and the Global Saemaul Development Network, and was the largest-ever international event on the Saemaul Undong. Following the welcoming reception on the 28th, 12 session and 1 general session was held on the 29th and 30th.
This forum started with the opening address by Global Saemaul Forum Chairman Choi Wae-chul (President of Global Saemaul Development Network) and was followed by a welcoming address by Gyeongsangbuk-do Governor Kim Kwan-yong and YU President Noh Seok-kyun, and a congratulatory address by Former Prime Minister Jung Hong-won.
Former Prime Minister Jung Hong-won (left on photo) said in his congratulatory address, "It has been nine years since the Global Saemaul Forum was established in 2008 with the goal of sharing the Saemaul Undong, which was the driving force for the development of Korea that the world is now paying keen attention to, with the world. Like Korea, which recorded amazing growth from being one of the poorest nations in the world just a half-century ago, I firmly believe that by introducing the Saemaul Undong according to the characteristics of emerging nations, it will help greatly in national development." He added, "The Saemaul Undong, which was the main driving force for Korea to overcome poverty, can be an effective tool to eradicate poverty, which is a global task, and furthermore, I believe that it can contribute to global co-prosperity. Just as the Saemaul Undong was the driving force for Korea's development in the past 50 years, I hope that it will be a globally shared asset to overcome poverty for all humans in the next 50 years."
Afterwards, Minister for Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation Aung Thu of Myanmar made a keynote speech on 'Sharing the Saemaul Undong in emerging countries for sustainable development and its tasks', followed by International Council for Small Business President Kim Ki-chan's (Professor at the Catholic University of Korea) speech titled 'Saemaul Undong: Making Town Ecosystems Compete in an Open Platform'.
Minister Aung Thu (right on photo) said in his keynote speech, "3.3 billion people, or half the world's population, live in rural areas. It is necessary to remedy the gaps between cities and rural areas that have recently been worsened by developing the rural economy." He also added with emphasis, "It is essential to pursue projects that integrate the Saemaul Undong for sustainable rural development. The world-wide spread of the Saemaul Undong will contribute greatly in the rural development of emerging nations."
The ensuing academic forum was divided into Global Saemaul Form Agendas I, II and III. Agenda I was on 'population and poverty', 'education and lifelong learning', and 'public health and healthy lifestyle'. Agenda II was on 'civic consciousness of the global community', 'use and management of natural resources', and 'sustainable development'. Agenda III was on 'economic growth and transparent management', 'good leadership and governance', and 'social safety and security' for a total of nine sessions. For each session, senior officials from various countries, representatives of public institutes, development cooperation experts, NGO representatives, academic experts, and activists held keynote speeches and presentations for each session, followed by discussions that demonstrated the high interest and passion for the global Saemaul Undong.
On the last day of the forum, a 'One Heart Walk' is scheduled near Bomun Lake in the early morning of the 30th that will be joined by forum participants to overcome global poverty. In the 'Global Saemaul Forum Agenda IV', there will be four sessions such as 'women and gender equality', 'global cooperation I', 'global cooperation II', and 'general session'. In the final general session, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) President Kim In-shik will give a keynote address on the theme, 'utilization of the Saemaul development model for sustainable growth'. It will be followed by a general debate emceed by YU Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul Dean Park Seung-woo and joined by Sri Lanka Minister of Lands Mahanama, Former Chairperson of the Myanmar National Economic Consulting Committee Tin Htut Oo, Deputy Director General of Development Cooperation Kim Young-soo of the Office for Government Policy Coordination Governance Department, Former Uganda Minister of Fisheries Nyira Zerybabel, and National Assemblyman Kim Kyu-hwan who is also a national quality master.
Global Saemaul Forum Chairman Choi Wae-chul (President of Global Saemaul Network, left on photo) who co-hosted the forum said, "Last year, the international community adopted 'sustainable development goals (SDGs)' as the development index from 2016 to 2030 and set 17 agendas including the ending of poverty, health and welfare, and gender equality. Here, Korea's development experience, and especially the Saemaul development method, which is an actual example of overcoming poverty, had considerable influence." He added, "the Global Saemaul Forum will evaluate this year's accomplishments and reflect the increasing demand from the international community for a safer and happier world, and prepare the biggest-ever Global Saemaul Forum next year."
Gyeongsangbuk-do Governor Kim Kwan-yong stated, "As the birthplace of Saemaul Undong and the champion of Saemaul Undong, Gyeongsangbuk-do providing the Saemaul Undong experience, which is one of the best educational cultures of Korea, for the eradication of poverty and the social development of emerging countries, and hosting the Global Saemaul Forum so that it can be utilized for the unity and co-prosperity of all humans is very meaningful." He added, "We will continue our support and efforts so that the Global Saemaul Forum can act as a catalyst for spreading the Saemaul Undong to improve the quality of life for all mankind."
Meanwhile, a welcoming reception was held with about 150 participants comprised of senior officials, international development and cooperation experts, and Saemaul personnel from all around the world at the Dynasty Hall of Gyeongju Hyundai Hotel at 6 p.m. on the 28th, which was the eve of the event. The participants pledged to share and practice Korea's development and Saemaul Undong experience for the mutual prosperity of the global community and wished for the successful hosting of the forum.