|Caribbean and South Korean vice ministers and senior governmental and inter-governmental officials pump their fists in the air as they declare in unison, “Fighting,” a signature South Korean gesture, during the “Third High-Level Forum on Korea-Caribbean Partnership” in Seoul on Tuesday. (Philip Iglauer/The Korea Herald)|
More than a dozen Caribbean and South Korean vice ministers and senior governmental and inter-governmental officials gathered to boost tourism in their respective nations during a Korea-Caribbean partnership forum in Seoul on Tuesday.
Dubbed the “Third High-Level Forum on Korea-Caribbean Partnership” and co-hosted by First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Kyou-hyun and First Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Cho Hyun-jae, the regional meet up showcased recent government efforts to inch up ties, especially on multilateral issues.
Valerie Alleyne Odle, director of Foreign Policy and External Economic Relations for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), underscored the important role that multilateral issues play in the diplomatic ties between Caribbean states and South Korea during the first session of the half-day meeting.
CARICOM was proud to support South Korea in its bid for a 2013-2014 non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council, Odle said during the session that focused on the broad strokes of Korea-Caribbean relations.
South Korea secured Caribbean regional support for two South Korean agenda items at the world body in recent years. CARICOM’s 14 U.N. member states supported South Korea’s Ban Ki-moon to succeed Kofi Annan as U.N. Secretary General in 2007, as well as announcing the region’s support in August 2012 for the East Asian nation’s Security Council bid.
In 2011, ministerial-level representatives from 11 Caribbean nations traveled to Seoul in the first Korean Caribbean Partnership forum, which focused on Caribbean development strategies, green growth initiatives and South Korean assistance to the region.
The first forum came just weeks after the China-Caribbean Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, China’s third such meeting with the Caribbean region.
In 2012, the second high level forum focused on the environment with such issues as marine and maritime affairs, environment management and renewable energy issues taking center stage. Representatives from 12 Caribbean nations participated.
By Philip Iglauer (email@example.com)