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Pres. Lee Leaves for NY for UN, G20 Summits

Posted September. 21, 2009 08:49,   


President Lee Myung-bak departed for New York yesterday to attend a U.N. summit on climate change and General Assembly, as well as the Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh.

World leaders at the General Assembly will discuss climate change, nuclear arms reduction, the H1N1 influenza virus and other issues. With the event coinciding with the G20 summit that will mainly deal with the global financial crisis, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the General Assembly will be one of the most significant events in history.

President Lee will explain his strategy for “low carbon green growth” and the progress Korea has made in overcoming the global financial crisis faster than any other country.

The presidential office in Seoul said, “President Lee’s visit to the United States will help materialize the president’s commitment to boosting Korea’s international standing befitting Korea’s economy.”

President Lee along with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd will chair a roundtable at a climate summit tomorrow.

Separately, the government will post a video clip on Korea’s vision and commitment to green growth on the U.N. homepage and YouTube. In a three-minute video address dubbed in English, President Lee will urge international cooperation in pursuing green growth in saying the most important thing is not how much one contributes but the willingness to make a united effort.

In his keynote speech at the General Assembly, his first since taking office, President Lee will announce Korea’s global vision.

A presidential office source said, “Unlike previous Korean presidents who used the U.N. General Assembly as a venue to talk about Korea, President Lee will utilize the international stage to help domestic politics,” adding, “This time, he will stress the relations between the U.N. and Korea and Korea’s role in the international community.”

The president’s speech will also cover global issues such as nonproliferation and U.N. reform.

He will also hold one-on-one meetings with world leaders, including new Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

At the third G20 summit in Pittsburgh Thursday and Friday, President Lee will explain his "exit strategy" to absorb liquidity in the market.

In a contribution to the summit’s homepage, he said, “It’s not the right time to adopt an exit strategy because of lingering threats that will force the global economy into another recession,” adding, “G20 leaders should agree to the necessity of an exit strategy, but the decision on when to implement it should be left to each country.”

President Lee will also seek to have Korea host next year’s G20 summit. The country will host the G20 financial ministers’ meeting next year.

A high-ranking official at the presidential office said, “Korea will likely host next year’s summit. A schedule adjustment is needed, however, given a series of international conferences to be held in the first half of next year.”

yongari@donga.com higgledy@donga.com