For G-20, the whole deal is done

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For G-20, the whole deal is done

Leaders of the advanced and emerging economies and key international organizations will gather in the National Museum of Korea in Yongsan, central Seoul, next Thursday for the welcome reception to begin the G-20 Summit, the presidential committee preparing for the event said yesterday.

According to the committee, 33 leaders from the G-20 countries, international organizations, as well as five observer countries invited by Korea, will join the summit.

Seven of the 33 leaders represent international organizations, including the United Nations, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The leaders of Ethiopia, Malawi, Singapore, Spain and Vietnam will also join the meeting to speak fon behalf of the non-G-20 economies.

Twenty-one leaders from the G-20 will attend the summit - the European Union is represented by the president of the European Council and president of the European Commission.

According to the committee, the museum was chosen as the venue for the welcome reception and dinner to allow the leaders to enjoy Korea’s history and cultural assets during their tightly scheduled two-day trip. The committee said 11 cultural relics will be selected and showcased, and information about each will be provided in eight different languages.

The welcome reception will start at 6 p.m. and last an hour, with the event being broadcast live by major media outlets.

The leaders will join a working dinner at a special hall inside the museum to begin their discussion. Because the dinner will take place while the leaders have discussions, simple Western delicacies, using Korea’s indigenous ingredients, will be served. Onda D’Oro from Napa Valley, Calif. will be served.

The first official session of the summit will begin at 9 a.m. on Nov. 12 at COEX in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul.

Following the morning session and a photography session, the G-20 summit participants will have a working luncheon and an afternoon session. At 4 p.m., President Lee Myung-bak will hold a press conference to announce the outcome of the summit.

A 2.56-acre press center is being built on the ground floor, in addition to the 0.19-acre broadcasting center inside COEX. According to the committee, 4,238 journalists, including 1,660 foreign media members, have registered to cover the largest diplomatic event in Korea’s history.

Accompanying the 33 world leaders, 4,000 delegates have also registered for the event, the committee said. They will also be given a 2.56-acre space inside COEX to operate offices, host bilateral summits and give briefings.

In addition to the press’ and delegate’s facilities, a summit room and a leaders’ lounge will be provided. Access to the so-called Red Zone - an area only for leaders - will be strictly controlled.

According to the committee, a special farewell dinner and cultural performance will take place at 6 p.m. on Thursday. CEOs from around the world who attended the business summit will be invited, as well as Korean dignitaries, the committee said. A 30-minute performance is also planned to promote Korea’s culture to the foreign guests.

While the leaders attend summit discussions to tackle global financial and economic issues, Korea’s first lady, Kim Yoon-ok, will receive 17 spouses of the visiting leaders. A welcome dinner for the first ladies is planned on Thursday evening at the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, while cultural events are planned for the next day.

A tour of the garden in Changdeok Palace and a visit to the Korea Furniture Museum are planned for Nov. 12, as well as a special luncheon featuring Korean traditional cuisine, the committee said.

By Ser Myo-ja []
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