By Kim Young Deok and Lee Jihae
President Moon Jae-in on Sept. 21 said, "The spread of COVID-19 was an extraordinarily difficult challenge for Korea as well. However, at a time of crisis, the Korean people chose the path that leads to 'freedom for all.'"
Speaking at a high-level videoconference marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations at the latter's headquarters in New York, he said, "Moreover, we extended the scope of 'neighbors' beyond our borders. By sharing infectious disease prevention equipment with other countries without closing borders and shutting down certain regions, we were able to keep our country and economy intact."
"Solidarity and cooperation is a power unique to humans that a virus can never match," he added. "We should guarantee equitable access to vaccines and therapeutics."
The chief executive gave the address as the leader of the rotating chair country of MIKTA, an informal group whose name comes from the first letters of its five member nations -- Mexico, Indonesia, Korea, Turkey and Australia.
Korea is the first chair nation since the group's founding in 2013 to give a speech at an international conference.
Held on the milestone to gather the intent of member states to help materialize "the future we want," the event adopted a declaration commemorating the world body's 75th anniversary.
Cheong Wa Dae also said in a statement that President Moon's address widely publicized the determination of the group's five member states and the Korean government's intent to take a leading role in creating an inclusive community in which nobody is left behind, based on the multilateral global order established by the U.N.