Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho speaks during a forum on sustainable development goals at the National Assembly in Seoul on Monday, in this photo provided by the foreign ministry. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Second Vice Foreign Minister Lee Tae-ho expressed hope Tuesday that South Korea's New Deal initiative to create jobs and stoke stable growth in the post-COVID-19 era will help the implementation of UN sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Lee's remarks came amid concerns that the pursuit of SDGs could slow, as the world is struggling to curb the new coronavirus, with the economic fallout weakening its capacity to pursue the goals aimed at fighting poverty, inequality and injustice and tackling climate change.
"Such a policy is closely related to SDGs that promote harmony among the economy, environment and society, and we expect that Korea's New Deal policy will create momentum for efforts to accelerate the implementation of SDGs at home and abroad," Lee said during a forum on the SDGs.
In preparation of the post-coronavirus era, South Korea has rolled out the New Deal policy centering on creating sustainable jobs in the digital and green industries, revitalizing the overall economy and strengthening social safety nets.
The vice minister voiced concerns that as the pandemic is bringing about changes in international politics, the economy and society, the efforts for SDGs could recede, with developing countries with weak crisis management capabilities likely to face difficulties.
To support vulnerable countries, Lee pointed out that South Korea has put in place such programs as a large-scale official development assistance initiative to provide humanitarian aid to 124 countries. (Yonhap)