un chief urges greater role for s korea in global affairs
Last Updated : GMT 22:29:41
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UN Chief urges greater role for S. Korea in global affairs

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today UN Chief urges greater role for S. Korea in global affairs

Seoul - Qna

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called for South Korea to play a greater role in international affairs as he embarked on an official visit to his homeland. Ban''s visit to South Korea this week is the first since he was elected to a second five-year term as UN chief in June. He arrived in Seoul from Japan as part of the two-nation tour, South Korea''s (Yonhap) news agency reported. "This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Korea''s formal admission to the UN," Ban told reporters upon his arrival at Gimpo International Airport in Seoul, referring to South Korea by its official name. "I think my reelection is meaningful at a time when relations between the Republic of Korea and the UN have such a symbolic importance," Ban said. "During my visit, I plan to lay out priorities for my next term and ask the Republic of Korea to pay more attention and play a greater role in global affairs." South Korea became a full UN member in 1991 with the right to vote. Before then, it had observer status in the UN General Assembly and was only allowed to attend meetings. His six-day tour includes meetings with President Lee Myung-bak and other top officials, a series of speeches during meetings with local diplomats, university students and business leaders, as well as a visit to his rural hometown. Ban said that he is proud of South Korea, which has become an economically affluent and politically vibrant democracy after rising from the ashes of the 1950-53 Korean War. "The international community is increasingly expecting the Republic of Korea to share its experience for success," said Ban, who became UN chief in 2007. On Wednesday, Ban will address an academic forum, UN Academic Impact, and attend the launching ceremony of an exhibition of photos that highlight the plight of poverty-stricken people around the world and environmental threats. Hosted by Yonhap News Agency, the exhibition displays award-winning photos that are a chilling reminder of the work that remains to be done as the UN strives to meet its sustainable development and environmental protection goals by the 2015 deadline. Ban is also scheduled to launch a UN youth conference on Thursday in Incheon, west of Seoul. About 500 university students from around the world will take part in the third Global Model UN Conference, Seoul''s foreign ministry said in a statement. Before flying back to New York on Sunday, the UN chief will visit his hometown of Eumseong, about 130 kilometers south of Seoul, and meet residents and students there, ministry officials said.

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