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Office of the President of the Republic of Korea

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Speeches and Remarks

Remarks by President Yoon Suk Yeol at the Session I of the APEC Leaders’ Meeting

2023.11.16

Your Excellency President Biden and

Distinguished Leaders of member economies, it is a pleasure to meet all of you.

 

I would first like to express my profound gratitude to President Biden for his leadership demonstrated in the meticulous preparations for this summit.

 

Over the past 30 years, APEC has indeed served as a linchpin driving economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region.

 

We are currently facing uncertainty in the global economy and indeed an unprecedented global polycrisis.

 

I believe that the theme of this year’s APEC meeting – “Creating a Resilient and Sustainable Future for All” – is a very timely agenda.

 

The climate crisis is the most pressing challenge to tackle as we seek to build a sustainable future.

 

The role and responsibilities of APEC, as its member economies account for about 60 percent of global GDP, are crucial in addressing the climate crisis.

 

The Republic of Korea seeks to push the transition to a clean energy system together with APEC member economies.

 

In September – to promote the use of carbon-free energy – we proposed forming a Carbon Free Alliance during the United Nations General Assembly.

 

The Republic of Korea will be at the very forefront in boosting the use of carbon-free energy and looks forward to cooperating with APEC member economies.

 

Taken together with expanding the use of clean energy, transitioning to eco-friendly transportation is the most effective solution to combat climate change.

 

The Republic of Korea is actively pushing the spread of smart mobility such as eco-friendly vehicles, self-driving cars and an intelligent transportation system.

 

I propose formulating and implementing a special APEC-level initiative to promote the spread of smart mobility in member economies in the region.

 

Moreover, there is a need to continue to establish green shipping corridors to achieve carbon neutrality on the seas.

 

The Republic of Korea will seek to closely connect green ports in Korea, the United States and the Asia-Pacific region through eco-friendly shipping solutions.

 

Finally, the Republic of Korea will contribute to reducing the climate gap in a responsible manner.

 

Our pledged US$300-million donation to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) this year testifies to our commitment to support countries vulnerable to climate change and to our solidarity with them.

 

Korea will share its climate response experiences and knowhow through the APEC Climate Center and assist Asia-Pacific countries as they build their own climate adaptation capabilities.

 

Busan – the host city of the APEC Climate Center – is a gateway connecting the Asian continent and the Pacific and will become a platform for solidarity and cooperation that seeks solutions to the climate crisis and other issues.

 

The APEC Leaders who first gathered in 1993 presented a vision for the Asia-Pacific community: sustainable growth and a more secure future.

 

Once again, we have a historical responsibility and mission to respond to this call and realize the vision embraced 30 years ago.

 

Let us unite in our efforts and work together yet more resolutely in a spirit of solidarity.

 

Thank you.