Welcoming Remarks by Honorable Kim Kyung-soo, Director-General for International Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

At the Opening of Senior Officials Segment of the 66th Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific

Honorable Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific,
\nDistinguished Delegates,
\nLadies and Gentlemen,
It is Korea 's great honor and pleasure to host the Sixty-sixth Session of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific here in Songdo, Incheon. I extend a wholehearted welcome to all of you.
This year, Korea experienced an unusually long winter, waiting for spring even at the end of April. However, now we are having the best season of the year with a clear blue sky and gentle breeze. I believe the delegates' visit to Korea brought us good weather.
Since Korea's hosting of the sixty-sixth Commission Session was decided last year at the sixty-fifth session held in Bangkok, the Korean Government and ESCAP secretariat have cooperated closely with each other for the successful organization of this auspicious event. I would like to express my gratitude to all the staff of the Secretariat who worked very hard to make this Conference possible. I would also like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to Incheon Metropolitan City , who provided full support for the preparation of this event.
Distinguished delegates,
I personally think that the Commission session can be compared to the harvest season in farming. Over the past year, the ESCAP secretariat, together with ESCAP members and associate members, conducted various activities including publishing, holding seminars, forums and training programs to alleviate poverty, increase connectivity, reduce disaster risk, promote social development, and to build capacities in ICT and statistics. We have gathered today as one big family to share all these fruitful outcomes, to take pride in what we have done well, to reflect on what we could have done better, and to share a common vision on the direction in which we should be headed after this meeting.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I hope that we will have constructive discussions on many agenda items at the Senior Officials Segment which will be held from today until Saturday. For those who will be briefly enjoying their weekend in Korea , I would like to remind you that organized tours will be provided to give you the opportunity to enjoy the charm of Incheon and Seoul during the weekend. Also, I would like to urge all the delegates to actively participate in the opening ceremony of the ESCAP sub-regional office for East-Northeast Asia which will be held in the afternoon on May 17. And I look forward to seeing you at the welcoming dinner, which will be hosted by H.E. Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea , in the evening on the same day.
Once again, I welcome the delegates of ESCAP members and associate members, and representatives of the United Nations and other organizations. I sincerely hope that you will enjoy not only the Session, but also your stay in Korea which is full of vitality and excitement.
Thank you very much.