UNDP Seoul Policy Centre participates in UN 70th anniversary celebrations in Korea

Nov 17, 2015

UNDP Seoul Policy Centre at the UN 70th anniversary events in Korea (Photo: USPC and UNESCAP-ENEA)

On occasion of the UN 70th anniversary celebrations in Korea, the Director of UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC), Ms. Anne Marie Sloth Carlsen, delivered a lecture on “The SDGs and the UN: What next?” Ms. Carlsen provided an overview of the UN as a system governed by its Member States, UNDP as the “implementing arm” of the UN system and coordinator of the UN on the ground through the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) system, and USPC, established in 2011 in lieu of the UNDP country office when Korea emerged as a member of OECD’s Development Assistance Committee.

She further discussed the 2030 Agenda and new SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) as “a major breakthrough for breaking down the silos” by merging communities engaging in economic and social development through the MDG process, and environment and development through the Rio process. While agreement on the 17 SDGs and the process that led to their adoption is a major achievement, the UN and its Member States must focus on the next steps for a successful implementation.

She emphasized that a critical next step is to ensure that a follow up and voluntary review mechanism properly monitors progress. To this end, the UN Statistical Commission is expected to endorse an indicator framework for the 169 targets of the SDGs by March 2016, and the High-Level Political Forum to work out the modalities for voluntary country review.

In her concluding remarks, Ms. Carlsen spoke on the notion of universality as a very important characteristic of the 2030 Agenda whereby the SDGs are to be achieved in all countries - developed as well as developing - and in developing countries also with support from developed countries. While developing country governments have primary responsibility for their own development, they need significant mobilization of resources, public, from domestic taxation and ODA, as well as considerable private resources from domestic and foreign direct investment.  UN support and ODA should help them take ownership of the 2030 Agenda and mainstream into their own development plans to catalyze and redirect private investments in support of the new sustainable development agenda.

Ms. Carlsen also served as judge for the UN Day Speech Contest, in which she assessed student contestants studying in Korea on their original thoughts and innovative ideas with regards to the progress made on UN priorities and the way forward for the UN. Seungbeom Ryu from Ajou University and Jeesoo Lim from Yonsei University were winners of Ban Ki-Moon awards.   

USPC’s Communications Analyst, Ms. Hye-Jin Park, delivered a lecture on UN career paths, as part of the UN career fair which was held in parallel with the speech contest to give young students in Korea an opportunity to learn about the UN offices in Korea and gather information on careers in the UN system.

Ms. Carlsen’s lecture, the speech contest and the career fair were co-organized by the UN offices in Korea as part of the UN 70th anniversary celebrations, and sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Incheon Metropolitan City and UN Academic Impact Korea. The events took place in Songdo, Incheon, on 22 October 2015. 

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