United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Republic of Korea

5th Session of the General Assembly Open Working Group on SDGs
25-27 November 2013, New York

Statement by Mr. Lee Jae-woong
Director for Global Green Growth Division
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Korea

Mr. Co-chairs,

Energy is a key element for productivity enhancement and growth. More importantly, energy is an enabler for development which spans various development issues such as food security, gender equality, health and education, thereby promoting social and economic progress.

While the current MDG framework has not accorded full attention to the energy issue, great emphasis has recently been placed on the role and importance of energy in economic, social and environmental development. This was also highlighted in The Future We Want which recognized the critical role that energy plays in the development process and stressed the international community’s determination to act to make sustainable energy for all a reality.

The Secretary-General’s SE4ALL Initiative gives concrete shape to the main energy related objectives, taking into account economic, social, and environmental aspects of energy in addressing sustainable development. The Government of Korea would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm its support for the SE4ALL Initiative. The report of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 development agenda also rightly captures the imperative role of energy and gives clear shape to the related targets.

Mr. Co-chairs,

Taking into full consideration on the role and importance of energy in sustainable development, we are of the view that ‘securing sustainable energy for all’ should be a specific universal goal. Key elements to be reflected in the subsequent targets and indicators are, (i) securing universal access to energy services which embraces the social dimension of the energy issue, (ii) enhancing energy efficiency which fully reflects the economic aspect of the issue, (iii) increasing the use of renewable energy which captures the environmental considerations. There could be other important elements to be considered such as a nexus/holistic approach and flexibility and adaptability to local conditions, among others.

Mr. Co-Chairs,

While I strongly believe that the international community will be able to achieve the goal of securing the sustainable energy for all in the years ahead through concerted efforts, it is also an undeniable fact that many cannot afford to be green in the near future. In this regard, I would like to underline once again that special attention should be accorded to countries such as LDCs, SIDS, LLDCs, and those on the African continent as well in formulating energy specific SDG.

Thank you.