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(LEAD) S. Korea mulls postponing U.N. peacekeeping conference amid pandemic

All News 13:46 November 30, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo)
By Choi Soo-hyang

SEOUL, Nov. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea is considering postponing the hosting of a U.N. ministerial conference on peacekeeping operations slated for next year amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Monday.

Defense Minister Suh Wook, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha and other senior officials held a preparatory meeting for the U.N. conference set for April and discussed adjusting the event schedule "in consideration of the COVID-19 situation and opinions from the U.N. and member states," the defense ministry said.

"We are considering postponing the event until the year-end," a ministry official said, adding that member countries want the conference to be a face-to-face meeting.

Discussions with member states will take place in December to finalize the plan, the official said.

This photo, provided by the defense ministry, shows Defense Minister Suh Wook (R) and Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha at a preparatory meeting in Seoul on Nov. 30, 2020, for the hosting of a U.N. ministerial conference on peacekeeping operations next year. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

South Korea plans to invite some 1,300 people from about 150 countries to discuss ways to strengthen technological and medical capabilities to enhance U.N. peace operations.

During the preparatory session, Suh said the U.N. conference will serve as an opportunity to discuss in-depth the global security situation and peacekeeping operations in the post-COVID-19 era.

The defense minister said South Korea will propose ways to contribute to the international community in the technology and medical sectors at the meeting.

Kang said the international community should restore the momentum for cooperation and boost effectiveness in the peacekeeping operations through the successful hosting of the meeting, according to the ministry.

The preparatory panel consists of senior officials from relevant government ministries and agencies, including the Ministry of Science and ICT and the National Police Agency.

In this file photo, taken June 3, 2020, troops of the Hanbit Unit, tasked with peacekeeping operations in South Sudan, arrive at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. (Yonhap)


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