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Former ambassador Lee Sung Ju's special lecture
Lee Sung-Ju, a former ambassador to the Korea Mission to Geneva, delivered a special lecture at the Central Laboratory for Science & Technology on September 16th, 2010. The topic of his lecture was the ‘International organizations and the role of Korea in international society.’ The lecture was aimed to cultivate the minds of CWN
U students with special abilities and those who want to be global citizens.

Lee shared his experiences as a diplomat and illustrated Korea’s role in international society. He also outlined the decision-making processes of international organizations. He said that Korea is not yet a major player in the international stage and does not have a strong power to make a firm stand. He added that when it comes to international diplomatic relations, almost everything is decided by the major powers of the world. He explained his points through a few entertaining anecdotes.

His first anecdote was about the UN. Some time ago, there had been an incident involving armed communist guerillas who infiltrated Gang-neung city. Korea submitted a draft resolution regarding this incident to the UN Security Council, but owing to China’s objection, the resolution was not approved.

He shared another anecdote about the International Trade Organization. During the time of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), agricultural liberalization was not a matter of debate. The developing countries had strong competitiveness in agricultural products in the world market. They were also the leaders in the fiber industry. On the contrary, the service industry was a thing of dispute since developed countries had competitive edge. Eventually, trade markets for the service industry had to be opened completely. After some time, the opening of trade markets for agricultural products has become, and still is, a controversial issue at the World Trade Organization (WTO).

In conclusion, he said that “diplomacy is not about the diplomat’s capability, but about the power of the nation he represents.” He added that the “nation’s power is the power of the people.” Lastly, he spoke out in a plea for reinforcing the power of the country, saying “Please, don’t differentiate fields. Instead, do your best in whatever field you’re in. That’s the only way to empower the nation.”

Ryu Seung-Bong  media@changwon.ac.kr

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