[Letters] G-20 Seoul Summit: The Conference for All

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[Letters] G-20 Seoul Summit: The Conference for All

A week ago, Korea was at the center of global attention. With more than 10,000 visitors, we the citizens could authentically feel the position of our country in the world. Despite a lot of difficulties and strict security, Korean citizens all worked together to become the model of global citizens. Thus, the G-20 Summit in Seoul was not a conference only for politicians and business people of the 20 countries, but for all - regardless of age and race.

The motto for this conference was “Shared Growth Beyond The Crisis.” After the outbreak of the economic crisis that hit the world like a set of dominos, the past two years were full of darkness. But by the mutual cooperation of the last four G-20 Summits held in Washington, London, Pittsburgh and Toronto, the economy could find the “exit” and was rescued. Then, Korea, as the G-20 chair, set “Global Development” on the agenda. This not only considered macroeconomics on finding solutions to the crisis but also fundamental and socio-economics that benefit people around the world. Furthermore, the attendance of the first Korean Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon to the conference was much more meaningful.

Along with the grand meeting of the elders, teenagers were also active participants of the conference. A few months ago in August, a storm of applause from 700 high school and university students at Korea University erupted when three days work on declarations from 14 committees passed with unanimous votes. Korea Model G-20, organized by Korea University and YTN, received sponsorships from the government and G-20 related departments. By accompanying various committees, current agendas and realistic simulations - country assignments, rules of procedure, declaration format, etc - students could contribute to society by writing declarations in groups and debating. It was such a great opportunity for students to experience something that they thought to be far away from their normal lives.

Furthermore, G-20 volunteer work was another contribution by the citizens to make the conference more successful. Since May, the Seoul City Volunteer Center received numerous applicants, and about 5,800 citizens speaking various languages and from different age levels and countries were selected. Passing competitive offline and online examinations, all of them were arranged into five respective departments responsible for transportation, city tours, hotel services, conference-room service and administration. One of the most interesting sights was at the launching ceremony. The age of volunteer workers ranged from high school students to 70-year-olds. Although their ages varied, their passion and contribution toward their country’s prosperity was immeasurable.

Following the successful G-20 Seoul Summit, the next conference will be held in Cannes, France from Nov. 3-4 in 2011. It will be another chance for Cannes to be not only renowned for its film festival but also the economic conference that attracts attention from people all over the world. As a student who has seen how much effort Korea has put into the conference, I strongly hope and look forward to learning something new from the next conference.

Kwon Min-joo, a junior at Gwacheon Foreign Language High School
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