In a special address to the 2023 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, Yoon Suk Yeol, President of South Korea, called for solidarity and unity in preserving freedom and substantive cooperation in addressing the world’s many common challenges.
Speaking at the event, Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, asked President Yoon to share his vision for South Korea and its role in the international community.
In his response, President Yoon pointed to the various crises currently facing the world, including economic uncertainty, geopolitical risks, social fragmentation, and the weakening of multilateral trading systems.
He also pointed out that the war in Ukraine has exacerbated supply shocks and disrupted already fragile supply chains.
President Yoon stressed that the most urgent task of our time is to improve the resilience of the global supply chain.
He said this could only be achieved through close cooperation among the international community in compliance with international trade laws and standards.
He also stressed that bloc-building among nations is not the answer and that building walls and strengthening protectionism cannot be the right solution.
Regarding climate change, President Yoon stressed that energy transition and energy security are not mutually exclusive goals.
He argued that renewable and green energy sources, such as nuclear power and green hydrogen, will strengthen energy security and achieve the goal of carbon neutrality.
He also emphasized that South Korea is a leader in nuclear power and green hydrogen and can help other countries build capacity.
President Yoon also described the widening digital divide as a new challenge and announced that South Korea would create a comprehensive framework that enumerates fundamental rights for digital access, called the Digital Bill of Rights.
He emphasized that digital access is a universal right and that specific initiatives will be implemented to promote the digital industry, create the relevant social infrastructure and encourage talent in digital fields.
In conclusion, President Yoon addressed the responsibility of heads of state and government, stating that they must provide their young people with a compelling vision of the future.