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[Full Video] GEEF 2018 Opening Session
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2018.05.29
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글로벌사회공헌원
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World-renowned leaders came together at Yonsei University to voice their support for sustainable development and kick off the Global Engagement & Empowerment Forum on Sustainable Development. Ten speakers highlighted the crucial role of different stakeholders, such as governments, academia, businesses, international organizations and the sports sector, in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.


[Summary of Keynote Speeches]


Lee Nak-yeon, Prime Minister of the Republic of Korea

Development has led us to great prosperity. However, in the 20th century, we have experienced the negative side of development. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lay out a vision and challenges that we must take on for the common prosperity of all. Korea has transformed itself from an ODA recipient to an ODA donor country in a short period of time. The Korean government has strived to contribute to the implementation of the SDGs. I pledge that Korea will play a bigger role in meeting the goals going forward by expanding its ODA investments especially for developing countries.


António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations

Building a Stronger UN for the Future We Want

Globalization, together with technological progress, has allowed us to have immense increase in wealth and meaningful improvements in the lives of many people around the world. However, it has also dramatically increased inequality and left us with a number of tough problems to solve, youth unemployment being one of them.

What we need now is a new deal for a fair globalization. For that, we can utilize the Sustainable Development Goals as a blueprint to take full advantage of the benefits of globalization and technological progress, and at the same time, eliminate the setbacks that we have been facing in the last few decades.

For the SDGs to become a reality, we must mobilize the civil society, academia and the private sector for the resources that are needed for the goals to be achieved and applied in the best possible way. When looking into the Sustainable Development Goals, we must also consider challenges that will come our way due to technological progress, including ethical problems and questions of regulation.

The United Nations can be a platform in which all key stakeholders can join together and discuss how we can respond to not only the problems of the past but also the challenges of the future. It is critical that everyone joins in to these discourses to ensure that we can translate the modern technology into tools that work for the improvement of humankind, and enable people to adapt to new scenarios of the future.


Miroslav Lajčák, President of the UN General Assembly

Role of Multilateralism in a Turbulent World

We are living in a turbulent world. Whether it is hitting our economies, societies or airplanes, turbulence works in the same way. It affects everything in its path. No matter how well we are prepared, once turbulence hits, it is felt by every passenger on the plane or every member of the society. And we must all come out of it together or not at all.

When there is conflict or extreme weather events in one region, not everyone in the world will suffer, but all of us will feel some effects eventually. Therefore, demand for multilateralism continues to grow. Multilateralism is not a trend dictated by politics; it is caused by the nature of the world we live in and the kind of turbulence we face.

However, we tend to take multilateralism for granted. Without multilateralism, our rule-based system that took us decades to build since World War II, will erode from underneath us, causing our world to return to the way it was before 1945, when rules were set by those with the most power and the strongest militaries, and alliances were based solely on defense not progress.

When it comes to meeting this demand for multilateralism, the United Nations must lead the charge. It plays a unique role in our world, which billions of people depend on. When talking about the irreplaceable role of the UN, we cannot forget the Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGs are a universal framework that applies to rich and poor countries alike, encompasses diverse and complex issues from education to access to justice, and bounds us all to the same goals and targets.

We cannot recycle old methods and messages. We need creativity, flexibility, and new ideas. We must stand up, we must speak out, and we must champion multilateralism.

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