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Statement by Mr. Park Dong-sil, Head of Delegation of the Republic of Korea, on the occasion of the thirty-third session of IFAD's Governing Council

02 April 2019

Madam Chairperson,
Mr. President
and Distinguished Delegates, 

It is my honor to speak at this session of the Governing Council of IFAD on behalf of the Republic of Korea.

First of all, let me extend my sincere congratulations to you, Madam Chairperson for presiding this session. I am confident that under your able leadership, meaningful discussions and decisions will be made during this session. Also I would like to express my appreciation to President Nwanze and the staff of IFAD for the preparation of this session.

Madam Chairperson,

The Republic of Korea takes pride in the fact that IFAD has greatly contributed to promoting agriculture in rural areas of developing countries over the last three decades.

As a founding member, the Republic of Korea has fully advocated IFAD's mission to eliminate poverty and hunger for marginalized people in rural communities, and it will continue to provide unsparing support to the mission.

Madam Chairperson,

The financial crisis of 2008 and ensuing global economic downturn plunged the most vulnerable people in rural areas of developing countries deeper into poverty and hunger. New challenges on agriculture such as climate change, deforestation, groundwater depletion, and soil loss make the future of food security more precarious than ever. 

Recently, a sense of urgency has served as catalysts for strengthening international coordination and governance for food security. Last July, global leaders made political commitments at L'Aquila G8 Summit to fight hunger and accelerate agricultural development. And last November, FAO hosted World Summit on Food Security. These are attestations of the gravity of the issue of food security.

It is encouraging that FAO, IFAD and WFP are enhancing their collaboration to benefit from their combined strengths. As a key player, IFAD should maintain focus on its core mandate, helping the poorest of the poor improve their food security by enhancing agricultural productivity and rural development. IFAD needs to use its increased resources more effectively, by directing them to the priority areas. In order to align its human and financial resources with its priority areas, enhanced financial efficiency and human resources reform still remain issues of great importance for IFAD.

In response to the growing risks of climate change posed to the small holder farmers, IFAD needs to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation fully into its operating model in a robust manner.

Madam Chairperson,

The Republic of Korea will exert its efforts to help resolve the issue of improving food security for the poorest of the poor by sharing its experience in agricultural development.

During 1950s and 1960s, the Republic of Korea suffered severe food shortages. However, it was able to overcome staple food supply problems by initiating its own development plan, which was later supported by international community. By sharing the experience and lessons learned from this process with the international community, Korea will be able to contribute to the international community's efforts to tackle food security.

The example of the Republic of Korea shows that international assistance on food security could be more effective and successful when it is made in conjunction with a country-led strategy.

As an effort to share its experiences and the lessons learned, the Republic of Korea is planning to host "Symposium on Food Security in the Countries of Small-Scale Farming" jointly with IFAD late this year in Seoul. The symposium will also address how to respond to new challenges facing global agriculture, including climate change. Taking this opportunity, I have the honour to request the attention and support of member countries and the IFAD Secretariat.

The Republic of Korea also plans to make contributions to regional initiatives for food security by earmarking 150 thousand tons of rice for "The Emergency Rice Stockpiling System" in Asia.

In addition to these, I am pleased to mention that the Republic of Korea has pledged to increase twofold its financial contribution to the 8th replenishment of IFAD.

Madam Chairperson,

Before I conclude, I would like to stress once again that the Republic of Korea highly appreciates the efforts IFAD has made so far to alleviate poverty and hunger in developing countries, and that it will continue to work closely with IFAD.

Thank you.

18 February 2010