S. Korea launches forum on U.N.'s new aid agendas

SEOUL, Aug. 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's foreign ministry launched a local forum on Monday to discuss new international aid agendas to replace the United Nations millennium development goals (MDGs) when they expire in 2015.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se attended the event held in the ministry building to launch the annual Post-2015 Korea Forum, with about 200 civic activists, lawmakers and government officials also on hand.

The local forum is designed to formulate South Korea's proposals for the new U.N. global development agendas when the current eight MDGs expire. The MDGs include eradicating extreme poverty, promoting universal primary education, enhancing gender equality and reducing child mortality.

The U.N. adopted the eight development goals in 2000 during its Millennium Summit with its member nations and other international organizations promising to achieve the multilaterally established humanitarian objectives by 2015.

The U.N. chief said the MDGs "have been the most successful poverty eradication movement in history, and no other formats have received the international support, understanding, cooperation and participation that MDGs have taken."

Through the millennium goals, extreme poverty cases have been halved, Ban said in a speech celebrating the launch.

Setting up new development agendas for the period of 2016-30 is now a topic of high interest for the U.N., the secretary general said, calling for South Korea's cooperation.

Through the local forum, South Korean scholars, business leaders and civic activists will make efforts to come up with opinions on development agendas, a ministry official said.

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