The First Meeting of Consuls-General of the Republic of Korea since the launch of the Park Geun-hye government will take place from July 8 to 11. A total of 53 consuls-general and heads of vice-consulates and consular agencies, who have jurisdiction over each area around the world, will discuss and share their initiatives and ideas to open an “era of happiness of the people” abroad.
The Consulate-General is one of the agencies most closely related to the “happiness of the people.” While the Embassy focuses on the big picture of relationship between two countries, the Consulate-General has the basic responsibility of protecting the safety and rights of overseas Koreans. In addition, the Consulate-General contributes to “economic revival” by supporting the ROK companies’ creative activities and participates in “cultural renaissance” by sharing Korean culture with people across the world.
The upcoming meeting consists of programs that can help participants fully familiarize themselves with the Park Geun-hye government’s new paradigm where the happiness of the people lies at the center of state affairs, understand the concept and direction of creative economy through vivid first-hand experiences, and discuss specific ways to pursue cultural diplomacy along with people around the world.
On the first day of the meeting, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won will deliver words of encouragement to consuls-general. In his speech, Prime Minister Chung will stress “diplomatic activities filled with love” as a concept of practical diplomacy to create an “era of the happiness of the people.”
Foreign Minister Yun Byun-se will explain the Park Geun-hye government’s administrative priorities, goals and foreign policy direction. The Minister will also request that consuls-general actively provide tailored services to meet the real needs of overseas Koreans based on a clear understanding of the Park Geun-hye government’s policy direction.
The Senior Secretary to the President for Foreign Affairs and National Security and the Senior Secretary to the President for State Affairs Planning will also give lectures to help consuls-general understand policy priorities more clearly.
Concerning the “happiness of the people,” the meeting will explore ways to protect the safety and rights of overseas Koreans and to provide tailored consular services to them under the title “diplomacy to realize the happiness of the people.” Furthermore, the meeting will discuss ways to expand global network for Koreans to promote shared growth of overseas Korean communities and the home country.
In the “economic rejuvenation” session, participants will learn the accurate concept of “creative economy” from an expert, hold discussions and get specific ideas through first-hand experiences. A panel discussion will be held among Chairman of Korea Digital Hospital Export Agency Lee Min-hwa, who has studied and practiced the concept of creative economy since 2009, and other experts. Consuls-general will also visit U-city in Paju and a theater to watch 3D animated film “The Nut Job,” the representative cases of creative economy.
In a discussion on “cultural renaissance,” consuls-general will explore how they can carry out public diplomacy in a way that wins the hearts of the people of their host countries. They will focus on ways to infuse Korean culture and values into foreign policy and create a national image where the ROK’s international standing, history and culture are brought together. The Foreign Ministry’s Ambassador for Public Diplomacy and President of Arirang TV Sohn Jie-ae will also take part in the presentations and discussions.
As in their past meetings, consuls-general will have an opportunity to reach out to the public and communicate directly with them. They will visit welfare facilities to carry out volunteer work and/or deliver lectures at the schools they graduated from.
Consuls-general are expected to take the opportunity of the meeting to learn more about the Park Geun-hye government’s administrative philosophy, the call for an era of happiness of the people, and ways to carry out diplomacy in line with them.