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GCF headquarters in S. Korea to be opened this week

All Headlines 14:00 December 03, 2013

SEJONG, Dec. 3 (Yonhap) -- The headquarters of the United Nations' Green Climate Fund (GCF) will be officially opened this week in a ceremony here, about a year after South Korea was named to host the world's largest fund on climate change, the government said Tuesday.

The opening ceremony will be held Wednesday at the GCF headquarters in Songdo, just west of the South Korean capital Seoul.

The ceremony will be attended by a number of officials from here and abroad, including Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank Group, which is also seeking to open a South Korean office in Songdo, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

Other attendants will include Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and South Korea's Finance Minister Hyun Oh-seok.

"The launch of the GCF headquarters will serve as a meaningful chance for the country to reaffirm its intention to honor all its pledged support to the GCF and also confirm the country's heightened status in the international community," the ministry said in a press release.

The GCF, launched in late 2010, is the largest U.N. organization to be based in South Korea and is expected to raise US$100 billion per year starting from 2020. Its main purpose is to channel the fund from industrialized nations to developing countries to help them tackle global warming and other problems related to climate change.

In support of the global cause and its South Korea-based secretariat, South Korea has agreed to provide $1 million per year in operation costs until 2019 with its city of Incheon, the governing body of Songdo, also providing $1.4 million in a one-time payment for office supplies.

Wednesday's opening ceremony will be followed by a discussion session, involving Hyun and the chiefs of the World Bank and IMF, on climate change and the GCF's role, the finance ministry said.

"South Korea will work to fulfill its role as a responsible state and the host of the GCF headquarters by continuing its support for the GCF and creating new opportunities for fund raising while also urging the international community to help establish the climate fund," it said.

bdk@yna.co.kr
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