The faint shadow of old love is growing
On June 13, the GGGI was granted Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligibility status by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. In short, now that developed nations can fulfill their ODA obligation by offering funds to GGGI, it has become much easier to raise funds. Norway has pledged $5 million, and the United Kingdom is considering contributing. It is rewarding that the international organization founded by Korea’s initiative less than one year ago has already secured financing. Funding is often a crucial factor for the continued operation of international organizations, and GGGI has found a way to survive.
When I learned of the news, I wondered why I was left uninformed for a while. I searched recent news articles and discovered that it only got very brief coverage. It wasn’t a surprise that I missed the story. If this news came out last year, the government would have made sure it made headlines, and the media would have given it major coverage. The banner of green growth that flew high for the past five years in the previous administration has disappeared, becoming the faint shadow of old love.
However, even if we try to ignore it, green growth is developing into a global agenda. Last week, the Global Green Growth Summit 2013 was held in Songdo, Incheon. President Park Geun-hye’s meeting with GGGI Council Chair and former Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen, who attended the conference, received media coverage. Park had asked him to utilize the Saemaeul Movement on the GGGI-level, and he reportedly agreed.
Now, some are arguing that GGGI needs to establish strategies to expand the Saemaeul Movement. GGGI is an organization that assists economic and social growth strategy in response to climate change for developing countries. Of course, the Saemaeul Movement, a rural development strategy, may be able to contribute to environmentally friendly development.
However, we should remember one principle. GGGI is headquartered in Korea and two-thirds of its staff members are Koreans. But it is an international organization operated with funding from 11 nations and international organizations. I hope no one will dare mislead it as an advance base of the Saemaeul Movement out of excessive loyalty to the president. I truly wish that the prospect of such international disgrace was an unnecessary worry.
*The author is an editorial writer of the JoongAng Ilbo.
By YANG SUNNY