UNDP and Korea to create new Seoul policy centre for global development

23 Nov 2009

Agreement Marks Shift in UNDP-Korea Partnership

Seoul - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen
Clark and Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Yu Myung-hwan, signed here today two landmark agreements which underpin a new working relationship between UNDP and the Republic of Korea. The first establishes a Policy Center on Global Development Partnerships in Seoul. The second establishes a Millennium Development Goal Trust Fund between the Government of the Republic of Korea and UNDP.

Reflecting the Republic of Korea's status as an emerging donor to development, the Policy Center will take over from and build on the most recent UNDP country programme, which largely focused on transferring the country's development experience and knowledge to developing countries.

"The Republic of Korea shows that a country can emerge from conflict and poverty through hard work, good strategies, and smart policies," said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. "I am thrilled to be here at this transitional moment for UNDP’s partnership with Korea."

Through promotion of global learning, networking and dialogue, the Policy Center will help to foster comparative experiences and approaches of new development partners in reducing poverty and achieving sustainable human development.

“We believe the UNDP Policy Center will serve as an important regional hub for sharing development experiences,” says Yu Myung-hwan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Korea.

The Trust Fund will support development cooperation activities in developing countries in priority areas such as poverty reduction, environment and climate change. UNDP will manage the Fund and identify, prepare, appraise and supervise the programmes and projects under it.

UNDP's partnership with the Republic of Korea dates back to 1965. From then until 2000, UNDP played an evolving role in helping the country achieve its development goals. This included strengthening agricultural productivity and providing basic health care and primary education in the 1960s-70s, establishing training institutes for skilled labour in the 1980s, and promoting environmental protection, gender equality and social security systems in the 1990s.

The visit in Korea is the first of a three-country Asia trip for Helen Clark that will bring her to Japan and China. In addition to signing these agreements, she met today with President of the Republic of Korea, Lee Myung-bak; the Vice Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Kim Jung-hyun; and the Chair of the Presidential Commission on Green Growth, Mr. Kim Hyung-kook. Aside from discussions on the changing nature of the partnership between UNDP and Korea, meetings focused on
the lead-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and the Millennium Development Goal Summit planned for next year.

Contact Information

Cherie Hart
cherie.hart@undp.org