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Korea to host major international events in 2012

Korea, host of the most recent IAAF World Championships and the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness continues to bring a series of major international events to its ground. Korea’s international events calendar this year will include the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit, Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea, and the World Conservation Congress in Jeju Island, just to name a few.

2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit (March 26-27)

After having successfully chaired the G20 Summit in 2010, Seoul is once again poised to welcome world leaders for a summit that rivals the premier consultative meeting -- as the largest summit in the field of international security.

The 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit convened to delve into the issues of global nuclear security and peaceful use of nuclear technology is set to take place from March 26 to 27. Top-level delegations representing four international organizations -- the United Nations, the European Union, the IAEA, and INTERPOL, -- alongside heads of state from over 50 nations worldwide will converge in Seoul to discuss nuclear non-proliferation and the follow-up to the inaugural summit held in April 2010 in the U.S. capital.

The Korean government officially launched the Preparatory Secretariat for the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Summit last March to make preparations watertight. The secretariat has endeavored to fulfill its role as an arbitrator of security issues in setting the agenda and coordinating global policy. To ensure success, Korea has sought active consultation in preparation for the NSS and led a series of meetings with the participation of sherpas and sous-sherpas, thereby making progress in setting down concrete and action-oriented guidance on future activities put forward by the Seoul Communiqué.

Foreign Minister and chief of the Preparatory Secretariat Kim Sung-Hwan appointed singer Park Jung-hyun, two child performers Wang Suk-hyun and Jin Ji-hee (left), and actor Jang Keun-suk as honorary ambassadors of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit
Foreign Minister and chief of the Preparatory Secretariat Kim Sung-Hwan appointed singer Park Jung-hyun, two child performers Wang Suk-hyun and Jin Ji-hee (left), and actor Jang Keun-suk as honorary ambassadors of the Seoul Nuclear Security Summit (photos courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade).

More recently, the Foreign Minister and chief of the Preparatory Secretariat Kim Sung-Hwan appointed Korean actor Jang Keun-suk and singer Park Jung-hyun (Lena Park) as honorary ambassadors to help raise awareness and interest in the upcoming summit. Earlier in October, the secretariat held a briefing on the current preparations for the Seoul NSS for foreign diplomat corps from participating nations.

Ahead of the summit will take place a number of side events aimed at deepening the public and private partnership. March 23 will be the 2012 Seoul Nuclear Security Symposium attended by domestic and foreign experts on nuclear security and nuclear power. The 2012 Seoul Nuclear Power Industry Summit will contribute to heightening the international community’s interest on March 23 and 24, with the participation of CEOs of related businesses, scholars, and representatives of NGOs.

For more information, please visit the official website at: www.seoulnss.go.kr (Korean and English).

Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea (May 12 - August 12)

Succeeding the bandied about Shanghai Expo in 2010, this year’s largest scale world event kicks off its three-month run on May 12 in the maritime city of Yeosu, Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla Province). This is the second time Korea is hosting an international exposition promoting exchanges of ideas and development of the economy, science, and technology, after the Daejeon Expo in 1993.

Architectural highlights of the Yeosu Expo 2012
Architectural highlights of the Yeosu Expo 2012 (photo courtesy of the 2012 Yeosu Expo Organizing Committee)

With “The Loving Ocean and Coast” as its theme, the 2012 World Expo in Yeosu highlights the balance between the preservation of maritime and coastal areas and achieving co-prosperity and sustainable economic development.

Yeosu gears up the final touches of sprucing up the port city of Yeosu, providing a glimpse of a futuristic, high-tech maritime city. The cutting-edge technology and architectural grandeur that will maximize exposition-goers’ coastal experience, will culminate in a variety of exhibitions and open-air performances jazzing up the theme of the Expo.

The Theme Pavilion of the Yeosu Expo will be Korea’s first offshore pavilion, filled with innovative designs and state-of-the-art facilities. Other architectural highlights and presentations also reflect a renewed vision in the preservation of the ocean for the future survival of the world.

The aquarium (above): the centerpiece of the expo Big-O (below left); inside the aquarium (below right)
The aquarium (above): the centerpiece of the expo Big-O (below left); inside the aquarium (below right) (photo courtesy of the 2012 Yeosu Expo Organizing Committee).

The International Pavilion “modeled after the seascapes of the Dadohae archipelago” will feature over 100 countries and international organizations such as the UN and OECD, set to participate and underline each party’s position adherent to the theme in their representations.

An expected eight million visitors are invited to enjoy the intense ocean world experience and the aquarium inside the expo venue. The high-tech facility, which contains some of the rarest submarine plants and sea creatures, will be the biggest in its scale, with a total size larger than that of Coex Aquarium, 63 Seaworld, and Busan Aquarium all combined. Another feature not to be missed is the 55-meter-tall harp that adorns the Sky Tower, made of industrial waste.

For more information, please visit the official website at: www.expo2012.kr (Korean, English, French, Chinese, and Japanese).

World Conservation Congress (September 6 - 15)

The environmental challenges that humanity faces today will draw even more focused attention at the World Conservation Congress scheduled to be held in Jeju’s International Convention Center from September 6 to 15. The so-called environmental Olympics held every four years, the congress is considered the most influential and authoritative event addressing environmental issues.

The event is hosted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which has official observer status at the United Nations General Assembly, in close collaboration with the Korean government. In light of today’s perpetual outbreak of natural disasters, the global green festival aims to explore solutions for the world facing abnormal climate changes, water shortage, and scarcity of natural resource, from which no one is free.

Under the slogan “nature+,” about 10,000 experts from government agencies, businesses, and NGOs alike of more than 180 nations will discuss environmental concerns across the world, putting nature at the center of discussion. The deliberations will mainly revolve around five themes -- biodiversity, climate change, sustainable energy, human well-being, and green economy.

Jeju Island is the first Northeast Asian host of the World Conservation Congress since its inception in 1948
Jeju Island is the first Northeast Asian host of the World Conservation Congress since its inception in 1948 (photo courtesy of The National Committee for Jeju New7Wonders of Nature).

The Jeju Congress is expected to serve as the turning point in resolving pressing environmental problems with renewed vision and commitment following the groundbreaking UN Conference on Sustainable Development “Rio+20” slated for June 20 - 22. The congress will assess the progress and the remaining gaps to date, marking the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), in Rio de Janeiro, and address new and emerging challenges alongside a future outlook on environmental policy.

“The congress will lay the foundation for lively discussion and an important leap forward in conservation for a new era,” said Lee Hong-koo, Chairman of the Korean Organizing Committee for the 2012 World Conservation Congress. Lee hopes that the world will find more about Korea’s low carbon green growth policy against the backdrop of one of the newly designated 7 Wonders of Nature and UNESCO Triple Crown recipient, Jeju Island, home to a world treasury of the ecosystem with environmental and academic value.

For more information, please visit the official website at: http://wcc2012.or.kr (Korean and English).

By Hwang Dana
Korea.net Staff Writer

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