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S. Korea delays UN peacekeeping ministerial forum to Dec. due to pandemic

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (L) and Defense Minister Suh Wook preside over a session of South Korea's preparatory committee for the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference at the defense ministry in Seoul on Nov. 30, 2020, in this photo provided by the ministry. (Ministry of Defense)
Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha (L) and Defense Minister Suh Wook preside over a session of South Korea's preparatory committee for the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference at the defense ministry in Seoul on Nov. 30, 2020, in this photo provided by the ministry. (Ministry of Defense)
South Korea has postponed its hosting of a high-level UN peacekeeping meeting, initially planned for April, to December due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministries of foreign affairs and defense said Monday.

The decision to reschedule the UN Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference for Dec. 7-8 came during the third session of a preparatory committee presided over by Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and Defense Minister Suh Wook.

"Multiple UN member countries assessed that our decision on the postponement is a wise and prudent step, and they pledged to cooperate on the successful hosting of the conference," Kang said during the session.

"If we host this session successfully, we will be able to enhance the Republic of Korea's standing when we celebrate the 30th year since we joined the UN," she added.

Defense Minister Suh called the planned conference a rare opportunity for South Korea to highlight its role in promoting global peace.

"We, as a confident middle power country, should play a role as a bridge between developed countries and developing countries," he said.

"I think the conference this year will be a rare opportunity to highlight South Korea's capacity and role in the international community for the cause of international peace," he added.

The conference is a senior-level peacekeeping forum involving top diplomatic and defense officials from UN member countries, as well as civilian experts and heads of related international organizations. (Yonhap)
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