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From the Chairman
Congratulations! To the New UN Secretary-General
We would like to extend our hearty congratulations to Mr. Antonio Guterres on taking the reins of the United Nations as Secretary-General for the next five years. As a citizen of the Republic of Korea, this writer was particularly impressed by his address, which cited three priorities for change during his term: work for peace, support sustainable development, and improve internal U.N. management.
Assuming the important post of the global body, he said, "The organization is the cornerstone of multiculturalism, and has contributed to decades of relative peace, but the challenges are surpassing our ability to respond."
With a rich background of experiences working with international conflicts, in addition to his administrative career as Prime Minister of Portugal, the 67-year-old U.N. Secretary- General added: "The United Nations must be ready to change."
I note with a sense of particular significance that his strong call for change coincided with a similar appeal by Donald Trump, who was just recently sworn in as President of the United States. On this meaningful occasion, this writer invites everybody's attention to the intricate relationship between the United Nations and the Republic of Korea.
My country was born as a result of the United Nations resolution of November 14, 1947, two years after the world body was organized.
When North Korean troops attacked South Korean forces across the 38th Parallel in June 1950, the United Nations quickly came to the aid of my country in the first measure of U.N. collective security.
The then-established U.N. Command, originally consisting of 16 U.N. member countries, still remains in the Republic of Korea to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula. In addition, the United Nations, through its various subordinate organizations, helped restore and rebuild the war-devastated land to become one of the World Economic Giants.
Once the world's poorest country, the Republic of Korea now extends economic assistance to many war-torn countries in Africa and the Middle East. We also participate in U.N. peacekeeping and refugee relief projects in many world conflict areas. The Republic of Korea should be cited as a fine example of United Nations cooperative achievements since its foundation in 1945.
Our prevailing national aspiration is to establish a unified country on the Korean Peninsula, overcoming the current nuclear and related aggressive threats from the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. In this regard, our particular interest is drawn to the new Secretary-General's priority projects, including "work for peace."
The U.N. Security Council has adopted many resolutions, including sanctioning the nuclear development threat caused by North Korea.
In spite of that, the threat is still imminent and the citizens of the Republic of Korea, as well as the peoples of neighboring countries, are very concerned about the fragile peace on the Peninsula. It is why we are looking forward so earnestly to Mr. Guterres' new United Nations for a breakthrough in solving the Korean question and many other international conflicts during his term.