1. Minister of Foreign Affairs Kang, Kyung-wha attended the “Ministerial Meeting of the Alliance for Multilateralism” held on the morning of September 25 (New York time) on the occasion of the High-Level Week of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, and discussed strengthening the multilateral health architecture.
o The virtual meeting was hosted by the foreign ministries of the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic and attended by ministerial-level officials from about 20 countries, including the Republic of Korea, as well as representatives from the UN and civil society.
2. Minister Kang said that the international community should strengthen the multilateral health architecture to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and respond to similar health crises, and to that end, the international community should discuss more concrete and substantive measures.
o In particular, Minister Kang stressed the need to improve public health norms, including the International Health Regulations aimed at developing each country’s core public health capacities, strengthening information sharing, safeguarding essential travel, improving early warning, and protecting privacy and human rights.
o In addition, Minister Kang underscored the need to strengthen multilateralism with a focus on public health and diseases control, and explained that to do so, the ROK is leading discussions on pandemic-related concerns in the multilateral arena, including through the Group of Friends in Geneva.
o Minister Kang also emphasized the need to accelerate the research, development, manufacturing and distribution of COVID-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and vaccines, and reaffirmed the importance of securing equitable and adequate access.
3. The participating countries in the virtual meeting agreed that multilateral cooperation can help resolve not only health issues, but also other challenges at hand, including climate change as well as digital and gender issues, and shared each country’s efforts and ways to make contributions to resolve them.
4. Minister Kang’s participation in the virtual meeting is seen to have served as a meaningful opportunity to express the ROK’s firm commitment to strengthen the multilateral health architecture, and to discuss action-oriented and concrete measures.