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Jeju Forum opens to discuss multilateral cooperation on pandemic, security

All News 11:11 November 05, 2020

By Song Sang-ho

SEOUL/JEJU, South Korea, Nov. 5 (Yonhap) -- An annual international peace forum opened on the southern resort island of Jeju on Thursday, with a focus on ways to shore up multilateral cooperation in tackling the coronavirus pandemic and promoting regional security.

The three-day Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity comes as the COVID-19 crisis has brought home the pressing need for global cooperation, which has been eroded by an intensifying Sino-U.S. rivalry, as well as emergent protectionism, nationalism and unilateralism in some quarters of the world.

Under the main theme of "Reinventing Multilateral Cooperation: Pandemic and Humane Security," the forum will bring together prominent figures, such as U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, his predecessor Ban Ki-moon, former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Singaporean Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong.

Foreign speakers will participate through video links due to COVID-19-induced restrictions, organizers said. All key sessions are set to be streamed live through a designated public online platform.

During Friday's opening ceremony, President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to deliver a video keynote speech, which observers say could touch on his drive to lay the groundwork for denuclearization and lasting peace on the divided Korean Peninsula.

The forum includes various sessions designed to discuss transnational challenges, such as the ongoing global health crisis, climate change and cybersecurity, as well as efforts to promote regional and global cooperation in the post-coronavirus era.

Among the sessions are two plenary meetings on Friday -- one on how to reinvent multilateralism in the midst of the pandemic and the other on ways to turn the current health and other crises into opportunities to foster global solidarity.

The forum also includes a set of roundtable sessions involving foreign ambassadors in Seoul, which will discuss the changing geopolitical dynamics in Northeast Asia, and experiences and lessons from the COVID-19 scourge.

On Saturday, an expert session will discuss the U.S.-China relations and the Korean Peninsula following this week's presidential election. In a separate session, experts will also discuss how to tackle the North Korean nuclear quandary.

Since its launch in 2001, the forum has grown into a regional multilateral dialogue platform for promoting sustainable peace and prosperity on the peninsula and beyond. It became an annual event in 2011 after it had been held biennially.

This photo, taken on May 30, 2019, shows special foreign guests participating in the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity on the southern resort island of Jeju. (Yonhap)


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