Tackling Asia’s problemsJeong Rae-gwon, an official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, was recently selected to chair a subcommittee of the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for two years.
“Through this experience, I will try my best to learn the latest environment policies,” said Mr. Jeong, 50, who beat candidates from more than 130 nations for the seat.
Because Mr. Jeong was selected to chair the Environment and Natural Resources Development subcommittee through fair competition, with no behind-the-scenes lobbying, news of his appointment inspired officials at ministry headquarters on Sejong Road.
“I think our [Korean] public officials are just as qualified as those in other countries,” Mr. Jeong said. “Now is the time to try and work for international organizations. It’s a good way to promote the image of Korea in international society and also to enrich our view of the world.”
Having led the ministry’s science and environment division, Mr. Jeong is known as an expert in his field. As Korea’s representative at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, he conducted negotiations with other nations there.
Mr. Jeong is scheduled to leave for Bangkok, where the regional arm of the United Nations is based, on July 29.