South Korean President Park Geun-hye delivered a keynote speech at the annual meeting of the United Nations held in New York on Wednesday, calling for international support to bring peace to the divided Korean Peninsula and the Asia-Pacific region.
In a 15-minute speech, President Park also praised the UN's efforts in promoting international security, humanitarian rights and balanced economic developments. She also reaffirmed South Korea's full-fledged support for the UN's global projects and agendas, officials said. Her speech marks her debut at the UN, where leaders from more than 140 countries have gathered for a climate summit and the General Assembly this week. Park arrived in New York on Monday after her state visit to Canada.
Later in the day, she was scheduled to attend the UN Security Council summit, hosted by US President Barack Obama. The special session was held to seek joint measures to crack down on the Islamic State terrorist organisation in Syria and Iraq.
On Tuesday, Park vowed to contribute up to $100 million to the Green Climate Fund, a UN organisation aimed at raising funds to combat global warming. She also called for global support to curb emissions of greenhouse gases.
"The early capitalisation of the GCF is vital to the launch of a new climate regime next year," Park said in a speech at the climate summit held at the UN headquarters in New York. "So we look to your contributions to the fund."
The South Korean president also requested that leaders of UN member-nations change their perception of climate change to see it as an opportunity, not a burden.
"How we view the climate agenda ― as boon or bane ― will bring huge differences," Park said. Making investments in renewable energy industries could create new jobs and contribute to growth, she added.
Park also presented the South Korean government's plan to introduce an emissions trading scheme next year to urge businesses to reduce greenhouse gases.
South Korea has vowed to take efforts to cut the level of carbon dioxide gas emissions by 30 per cent from business-as-usual levels by 2020.
"The climate crisis is real," Park said. "And the time to act is now."
Also on Tuesday, Park said she would support the Global Green Growth Institute to help the Seoul-led international organisation on green growth become a reliable partner to developing countries in their transition to a low-carbon economy. The remark came during a ceremony held to celebrate Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono as the new chair of the GGGI's council.