□ The Inclusive Korea 2021 International Conference, co-hosted by the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning (Chairman Dae Yop Cho) and the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences (Chairperson Hae-Gu Jung), and organized by the Korea Development Institute (President Jang-Pyo Hong), was held at The K Hotel Seoul.
- (Date) July 6(Tue.), ~ July 7(Wed.), 2021
- (Venue) Crystal Ballroom(3F.), The-K Hotel Seoul
- (Host) The Presidential Commission on Policy Planning (PCPP), The National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences (NRC)
- (Organizer) Korea Development Institute (KDI) / (Participating Institutions) Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU), Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA), Korean Institute of Ciminology and Justice (KICJ)
○ Experts from around the world gathered at the Inclusive Korea 2021 International Conference to evaluate and discuss the current status and accomplishments of the Moon Jae-in administration’s operation of state affairs in its fourth year in office. They also explored solutions for Korea’s ‘recovery, inclusiveness, and a leap forward’ to propose a future direction for Korea.
□ Dae Yop Cho, Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning, noted in his opening remarks that as humanity enters an uncertain future, the Moon administration is paving the way with a vision of innovation founded on inclusiveness, and stated that the conference is yet another wagon carrying the administration’s core visions which he hopes will serve as an invaluable opportunity for not only Korea but also other countries around the world to explore the next chapter of civilization and a brand new future.
□ Hae-Gu Jung, Chairperson of the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences, said in his welcoming remarks that there have been various changes and events throughout the Moon administration’s four-year journey among which the economic crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic is the most critical, adding that the government’s wise handling of the situation is not only resulting in recovery, but with it providing a chance to leap forward in a brand-new fashion. He also noted that now, ‘recovery’ and ‘a leap forward’ must mean ‘an inclusive recovery’ and 'an inclusive leap forward to take on challenges’ in order to embrace marginalized populations.
□ Prime Minister Boo-kyum Kim announced in his congratulatory video message that the administration shall view the rest of its term as ‘time spent leaping forward’ to round off its legacy achieved with the Korean people to restore day-to-day life despite the pandemic and prepare for a new future. He also stated that the key to recovery should be ‘inclusiveness’ marginalizing no one by which we will pick ourselves up together.
□ KeunLee, Vice Chairman of the National Economic Advisory Council, mentioned in his encouraging remarks that the Korean government has been displaying its potential as “a government opening the gateway to the future” by pledging to enact the Korean New Deal and achieve carbon neutrality. He also called it a government that “expands welfare” by strengthening public health care; that “reforms the power structure” by establishing the Corruption Investigation Office for High-ranking Officials (CIO); and that “maintains peace” by pushing ahead with the peace process on the Korean Peninsula. Despite the government’s success in managing state affairs, Lee noted that there are unresolved conundrums, so the administration should thoroughly conclude the policies it has been enforcing so far and lay a foundation for the next administration to build upon with new policies.
□ Sa-Youl Ghim, Chairman of the Presidential Committee for Balanced National Development, said in his encouraging remarks that “Korea has rebounded from the socio-economic crisis caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 and has been leading the world by setting new norms as a model nation” and added that “this conference is expected to serve as a platform for gathering wisdom so as to realize the goal of building an innovative and inclusive Korea.”
□ In the keynote session, “A Strong Government Tackling the COVID-19 Crisis,” Neung Hoo Park, Professor at Kyonggi University (and former minister of the Ministry of Health and Welfare) made the assessment that amid the COVID-19 crisis, which is impacting every aspect of our lives, the Korean government’s systematic and bold enforcement of preventive measures based on science, dynamic economic measures, and inclusive social policies that reflect its policy direction toward inclusiveness and innovation have minimized the damage caused by the pandemic while building a stepping stone for the country to take social and economic leaps forward.
○ He also mentioned that the government's successful government- and nation-wide measures to tackle the pandemic are reinforcing social integration and swift economic recovery while also providing an opportunity for Korea to step up as a world leader.
□ CIFAR President Alan Bernstein, the second keynote speaker and a world-renowned infectious disease researcher, said that as the world becomes more populated and as humanity increasingly encroaches on the natural environment, we face increased risk on a global scale of catastrophic global events such as pandemic, climate change, terrorism, etc. As a result, he added, we are in the midst of a global pandemic.
○ In particular, Dr. Bernstein emphasized that Korea’s quarantine model comprising ‘Testing, Tracing, Quarantine’ served as a global role model, and that the use of apps, GPS and Bluetooth was also very effective.
○ He also stressed that countries have so far acted quickly and boldly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and we should remember that collaboration among countries, public-private partnerships and interface between science and public policy are important for the sake of overcoming global crisis in the future.
□ In the first session, “The Korean New Deal and the Government Opening Up the Future,” Jahyun Koo, Director of the Department of Knowledge Economy at the Korea Development Institute (KDI), evaluated the Korean New Deal as an apparatus for Korea to bolster economic recovery and leap forward in the post-COVID-19 era. He also asserted that it is in line with the cooperative trend in the global community to address climate change so as to determine global economic sustainability.
○ He further argued that for the deal to be successful, the government should actively respond to the digital transformation of its industries, especially for small- to medium-sized companies, create jobs and strengthen the social safety net for the marginalized, and actively engage in dialogue in the global community on carbon neutrality while seeking responsive measures.
□ Sun-Jin Yun, Professor at Seoul National University (and chairperson of the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Commission) explained that climate change policies of countries who pledged to achieve carbon neutrality have brought about changes in the economic order, and this has resulted in a significant ripple effect in Korea’s industries and economy.
○ She stressed that there is a need for swift legislation on the implementation of carbon neutrality measures for the steady operation of the 2050 Carbon Neutrality Commission and for the prompt shift to carbon neutrality, thus requiring new schemes, a foundation on which to execute projects via government budget, and so on.
□ Tae-Young Kim, Senior Executive Director of Future Strategy Central at Gyeongnam Institute, explained that the accelerated increase in the population density of the Seoul metropolitan area is placing some other regions in danger of disappearing while the adverse effects of overcrowding in the metropolitan area, such as traffic congestion, are intensifying, which calls for mega-regional cooperation strategies for balanced development to promote nationwide, sustainable development.
○ He argued that mega-regional cooperation strategies for balanced development must be promoted as a government policy along with the Roh Moo-hyun administration’s policy for balanced national development, and also that jurisdiction and audacious financial support must be granted to megaregions.
□ Jun Yim, Professor at the University of Seoul, stated in the second session, “An Inclusive Society and the Government Expanding Welfare,” that following Moon Jae-in Care, the coverage rate of medical institutions at the general hospital level and above has improved a certain degree; however, that of medical institutions at hospital level and below did not improve significantly and there are limitations such as having no institutional security for income loss including impoverishment due to income reduction.
○ He emphasized the importance of policies to establish a public health and medical services system by extending the concept of public health to the ‘essential health services’ sector to protect the life and safety of citizens, and to provide a medical services delivery system between secondary and tertiary medical institutions and primary medical institutions as its base.
□ Sungeun Cho, Research Fellow at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, claimed that there is a need to continue to strive to maintain or elevate the quality of life via the nation’s policies on redistribution as the polarization of the Korean market is being prolonged at a time of low growth and while in the process of reforming its industrial structure.
○ He concluded that an important objective for the future is to continue the pursuit of an inclusive welfare state while building a sustainable welfare system and while ensuring the balance is kept between innovation and social security.
□ Hyoung Yong Kim, Professor at Dongguk University, provided his evaluation that in Korea, the supply of care services is dependent upon the private sector user market despite the skyrocketing demands owing to demographic and social structural changes such as the rapidly aging population and increasing number of single person households.
○ He also remarked that public caregiving services should be a platform in the public domain wherein every socioeconomic actor can participate freely, and therefore the government should establish a caregiving system wherein the caregiving services are exchanged based upon trust and relationships in local communities while at the same time fostering public servants equipped with professionalism and endeavoring to improve working conditions for caregivers.
□ Kuk-Woon Lee, Professor at Handong University, analyzed in the third session, “A Fair Society and the Government’s Initiatives to Reform Power Structures,” that the Moon administration achieved remarkable success in reforming the structure of authorities in criminal justice with measures such as establishing the CIO and making adjustments to the investigative authority between the prosecutor’s office and the national police.
○ He argued that the challenges lying ahead regarding the reform of power authorities include: creating a new system of governance according to diversified investigative authority; fostering the specialization of investigative bodies and human resources; bolstering citizens’ autonomy in the process of criminal justice; and micro-level power balancing within the criminal justice ecosystem.
□ Han-Beom You, Executive Director of Transparency International-Korea, indicated that the Korean society’s transparency rank rose sharply in the last four years. For example, Korea came in 33rd place in the 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index released by Transparency International on account of the government’s efforts and the public’s attention to corruption and social pressure.
○ He also noted the importance of expanding the scope of policies regarding anti-corruption and integrity now focused on the public sector to include not only the economic sector but society as a whole.
□ Yunjeong Kim, Team Leader of the Korea Legislation Research Institute, pointed out that a ‘fair economy’ is the fundamental driving force behind inclusive growth, the success of which influences people far and wide, and that when fair economic rules are established, it induces long-term economic activity to support economic growth.
○ She mentioned that the Korean government set up the basis for a fair economic order by revising the Fair Trade Act, the Commercial Act, the Subcontracting Act, and the Fair Transactions in Franchise Business Act in 2020, and thereby anticipated achieving market democratization.
□ In the fourth session, “The Peace Process on the Korean Peninsula and the Peace-Keeping Government,” Youngjun Kim, Professor at the Korea National Defense University, called attention to the Moon administration’s endeavor to increase its military strength with cutting-edge weapons systems, to transfer wartime operational control, to create a military culture of autonomy and responsibility, and to secure peace on the Korean Peninsula.
○ He stressed that by doing so, the administration is reinforcing its national defense and realizing responsible defense, both of which are processes used to build a strong national defense that supports peace.
□ Sukhoon Hong, Research Fellow at the Korea Institute for National Unification, noted that the Korean government has promoted the foundation of a Northeast Asian peace regime via balanced diplomacy for cooperation, building a favorable international environment that is expected to contribute to shaping a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
○ He further asserted the government should aim to strengthen international cooperation in human security through middle power diplomacy such as by using K-quarantine and K-culture while employing a two-track strategy. One track of the strategy should focus on pursuing inter-Korean public health cooperation and humanitarian cooperation, with the other focusing on security affairs such as nuclear issues.
□ The conference was held in a hybrid format conducted both online and offline simultaneously to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
○ The conference was streamed live on the YouTube channels of the Presidential Commission on Policy Planning; the National Research Council for Economics, Humanities and Social Sciences; and the Korea Development Institute.