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Seoul city to hold global summit on post-coronavirus era

(Seoul Metropolitan Government)
(Seoul Metropolitan Government)

A five-day online global summit aimed at preparing for the post-coronavirus era will be held next week, during which Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon will suggest the creation of a global organization of municipal governments to better respond to infectious diseases.

Hosted by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, the Cities Against Covid-19 Global Summit 2020 will bring together mayors of more than 40 cities around the globe, city officials, experts and scholars to discuss 10 major topics through video conferencing.

Under the slogan of “Together We Stand,” the summit will kick off Monday for a five-day run. It will be livestreamed online through Seoul city government’s YouTube channels as well as Arirang TV, with simultaneous interpretation to be available between English and Korean.

On Tuesday, the mayors of cities including Jakarta, Moscow, Tehran, Amsterdam, Kampala and Bogota are set to hold a meeting where they are expected to adopt a “Seoul Declaration,” which is likely to stress the importance of solidarity and cooperation among cities to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. Park will also suggest the creation of a global organization among cities -- a key information-sharing platform at the municipal level.

From Wednesday through Friday, discussion sessions on 10 major sectors -- ranging from climate, quarantine measures to education, welfare -- will be held to look into challenges faced by cities in the COVID-19 era, share major cities’ know-hows in responding to the pandemic and find ways to move forward after the pandemic ends.

During Wednesday’s session on climate and environment, Park will put forward his vision for “Green New Deal” for Seoul, home to some 10 million people, to make the country’s capital emissions free.

One of the highlights is a one-on-one talk to be held on Thursday between Jared Mason Diamond, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Guns, Germs and Steel,” and Mayor Park. During their 90-minute-long meeting, they will share their assessment on Seoul’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak and discuss the tasks for the post-coronavirus era.

The city government is also set to introduce 20 innovative companies based in Seoul in the biomedical and no-contact industry to help them draw foreign investment.

More information about the summit -- from how to participate in it to detailed programs -- is available in Korean and in English on the website: