- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs held the 3rd annual policy consultation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Seoul on November 8. The delegations of the Republic of Korea and OCHA to the consultation were led by Director-General for Development Cooperation of the Foreign Ministry Oh Hyun-joo and Assistant Secretary-General Ursula Mueller, respectively.
※ Previous annual policy consultations between the ROK and OCHA: 1st consultation (November 2015, New York), and 2nd consultation (November 2017, New York)
In the meeting, the two sides shared their policy priorities in the area of humanitarian assistance, and discussed concrete ways to cooperate in responding to humanitarian needs around the world, including Syrian refugees, reconstruction and recovery efforts in Iraq, and the Rohingya refugee crisis.
The ROK side said that OCHA’s role was becoming more important, as global humanitarian needs were soaring due to continuing conflicts and natural disasters. The ROK side noted that OCHA took the lead in addressing “forgotten crises” suffering from lack of resources as they received relatively low attention from the international community.
The OCHA side took note that the ROK, as a growing donor of the international community, had been continuing to expand its assistance for a number of humanitarian crises, including those in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen, for the last couple of years.
o The OCHA side especially expressed appreciation to the ROK government for continuing to make financial contributions to the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and the Country-Based Pooled Fund (CBPF), operated by OCHA to provide aid effectively for under-funded crises around the world.
※ In 2017, the ROK government contributed US$4 million to the CERF, and US$11.90 million to the CBPF.
- In addition, regarding its plan to provide US$80 million in humanitarian aid for nine under-funded crises* through the CERF in the second half of the year, the OCHA side explained its plan for humanitarian aid to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (about US$10 million).
o The ROK side said that the OCHA side’s aid to be provided would greatly help address lack of resources facing international organizations working in North Korea, and ease the severe humanitarian crisis in North Korea. The ROK side said that it would continue to closely cooperate with OCHA in working to deliver humanitarian aid to North Korea.
- the Republic of the Sudan, the People's Republic of Bangladesh, the Republic of Angola, the Republic of Burundi, the Central African Republic, the DPRK, Libya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda
- Meanwhile, on November 7, Assistant Secretary-General Mueller paid a courtesy call on Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, and said that she welcomed the mood for dialogue on the Korean Peninsula created by the ROK government’s efforts.
o Minister Kang took note of the continued development of the ROK-OCHA relations. She also talked about the ROK government’s efforts to make progress in establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula, and denuclearizing the Peninsula, and asked for OCHA’s support and cooperation.
※ Minister Kang served as the Assistant Secretary-General of OCHA for over three and a half years from March 2013 to October 2016.
- The policy consultation served as an opportunity for the ROK government, which has continued to contribute to efforts to respond to humanitarian crises across the world, and OCHA, an organization that oversees and coordinates international humanitarian assistance, to discuss a range of ways to provide humanitarian assistance that is more effective, and meets the needs on the ground, as well as to further strengthen mutual trust and cooperation.
- unofficial translation