The Mission attended the Global Saemaul Leadership Forum providing secretariat support to the Hon. Alipate Tuicolo Nagata, Assistant Minister for Youth and Sports who attended the event from 26 – 29 October, in Gyeonggi Province in Korea at the Ramada Suwon Plaza. The event is an annual event that has high-level participants from countries where the Saemaul Undong has a notable presence through projects, volunteer work, training and capacity building programs and other programs.

The Fiji delegation also comprised of a SMU volunteer Mr. Sakiusa Cakau who is engaged with awareness of SMU in Fiji and Mr. Sanaila Rokotuivuna village leader from Silana village in Dawasamu, Tailevu.

The Theme of this year’s Forum is “Overcoming Threats to life on Earth and Building a Sustainable World together.” The purpose of the annual forum is to gather and share each member Saemaul Undong experience over the past year and explore new developments. In addition, the annual forum is held to share some of the experiences including achievements and successes, failures, challenges and stagnation over the year and from such experiences learn to better themselves with new strategies in the New Year. In his opening remarks Mr. Chung Sung Heon, President of Korea Saemaul Undong Center, said that “the world today faces two major tasks, one is to create socio-economic foundation for overcoming absolute poverty and living as human beings and the other is to overcome the climate crisis and life threatening crisis to establish the condition under which people and all other life in nature can coexist in a symbolic way”.

The event also witnessed welcome remarks by the Minister for Interior and Safety of Korea- Hon Chin Young and keynote speech by Mr. Chung Sung Heon, President of Korea Saemaul Undong Center who both advocated on the positive and tangible results that have been achieved locally in Korea and also by local communities in countries that have become members of this Global movement. The forum also witnessed two case presentations with one regarding a best practice of Global Saemaul Undong in Uganda where communities worked together to uplift their standards of living and income generation and the other is on the practical ways of Saemaul Undng to achieve Sustainable Global Communities for life in Nepal.

The forum also witnessed the 2019 SGL Declaration which was made by members of the Saemaul Undong League. The declaration : We, members of the Saemaul Undong Global League hereby make a resolution to achieve economic development through a community-driven movement for life, peace, reverence and establish a sustainable global community with the aim of overcoming the global life-threatening crisis’. There are five (5) key areas that are the pillars of the 2019 declaration.

  1. To increase SGL member countries and strengthen their organization capability to our common goals for life, peace and reverence;
  2. To try their best to eradicate poverty in the World and take the lead in finding ways of life for sustainable global communities;
  3. To face up to the current crisis in the world and share a variety of knowledge and experiences together to overcome it;
  4. To learn the lessons of Saemaul Undong and strive towards rural and agricultural development, considering the harmony between nature and human beings; and
  5. To build a civilized global society where all life can coexist and put our ideals into practice by changing our lives and mindsets.

The leaders and participants also witnessed Traditional cultural musical performances and dances by Korean Artists as well as traditional martial arts (taekwondo) performances.