I was fortunate to attend the second Summit for Democracy Regional meeting in Seoul 29-30 March.
The Summit for Democracy organised by the White House included representatives from over 100 countries.The summit consisted of a plenary day hosted by the United States and then four regional meetings in South Korea, Costa Rica, the Netherlands and Zambia.
At the Seoul meeting, New Zealand Ambassador-designate to the Republic of Korea Dawn Bennet, delivered New Zealand's country statement that had been released by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins the day before.
She highlighted New Zealand's commitment to combatting corruption and its activities domestically, in the Pacific and internationally.
Of particular interest is the Serious Fraud Office’s initiative to create a public sector wide, national, end-to-end financial crimes and anti-corruption strategy that includes education, detection and prosecution systems.
She concludes reading from the statement:
”New Zealand remains committed to combatting corruption and sustaining political commitment against this international problem.”
The livestream of day1 of the Seoul meeting includes Ambassador Bennet's presentation starting at 2.16.
It was a privilege to interact with colleagues and speak at the TI side event: “Bridging Civil Society efforts in combatting corruption in Asia-Pacific.”
I am grateful to Ambassador Dawn Bennet, Deputy Head of Mission Jeongmin Park, Trade Commissioner Stephen Blair, Head of Political, NZ Embassy Seoul James Kim-Russell and MFAT North Asia Divisional Manager, Paula Wilson for the opportunity to visit the New Zealand Embassy to learn about the great progress and future potential in economic and people-to-people exchanges between New Zealand and Korea.
I also visited the 38th Parallel Peace Bell between Reunification Bridge and Freedom Bridge. Wild flora and fauna now thrive in the Demilitarised Zone, “the road to life and reconciliation”. May peace and development forever prevail.
Below is Prime Minister Chris Hipkins’ Summit Participation Statement from YouTube: