[Seoul's News] Four directions and 12 tasks of the 「SMG Urban Diplomacy Plan」

Date 2017-07-24 Writer ssunha


Seoul City working on the establishment of the 'Northeast Asia Capital Cooperation Organization'… Aiming for Pyeongyang

  • - Announcement of 12 tasks for the 「Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG) Urban Diplomacy Plan」, the first mid-to-long term vision to be achieved by 2020

  • - Seeking peaceful development in Northeast Asia through the 'Northeast Asia Capital Cooperation Organization'… Concentrating on practical exchange and cooperation including the issue of air quality

  • - Newly implemented the 'Mayors’ Meeting for Sharing Seoul’s Urban Policies,' first meeting to be held in October in connection
    with the OECD Inclusive Growth Conference

  • - Appointed Seoul-loving foreigners as 'Seoul Global Ambassadors,’ and increased the international cooperation fund to KRW 10 billion

  • - Increased the number of sister friendship cities by 32% and overseas business by 84% in the past five years…Rapid results

  • The SMG formed new sister friendship city relationships with 18 cities including London, Montreal and Shanghai in the past five years (2012-2016). This is equivalent to 32% of Seoul’s 57 sister friendship cities. The SMG also focused on expanding the scope of urban diplomacy by newly attracting 14 international organizations (50% of the total attracted organizations) and taking the lead in the establishment of the World e-Governments Organization of Cities and Local Governments and the Global Social Economy Forum.


  • The SMG’s outstanding policies such as the Seoul’s transportation card system, water supply facilities, and commercial impact analysis utilizing big data were exported to 36 cities in 25 countries (45 projects). Through development and announcement of the policy guide since 2012, 84% (36 projects) of all businesses that advanced into other countries entered the international market in the past five years.


  • Based on such results, Mayor Park Won-soon, who is on tour in Europe, announced the SMG Urban Diplomacy Plan, the first mid-to-long term comprehensive plan in the urban diplomacy sector, on July 1 (Sat, CEST) in Vienna, Austria. During the presentation, he vowed to take the lead in solving global urban problems to contribute to improving the quality of life of the people of the world and play an important role in realizing peaceful development in Northeast Asia.


  • The plan will be carried out under the vision of 'Seoul, Global Sharing City' and four directions including ① Resolving global urban problems, ② Contributing to the peaceful development of Northeast Asia, ③ Building public-private cooperative urban diplomacy, and ④ Establishing an urban diplomacy foundation. 12 tasks will be implemented to carry out these directions.


Seek peaceful development in Northeast Asia through the 'Northeast Asia Capital Cooperation Organization' with Beijing, Tokyo, and Ulaanbaatar

  • The SMG will seek the installation of the Northeast Asia Capital Cooperation Organization, a permanent cooperation platform between the four capital cities of Beijing, Tokyo, Ulaanbaatar and Seoul. The plan is to regularly host the four capital mayors’ meeting through this organization and promote cooperation through the meeting. When North Korea’s nuclear issue is resolved and the relationship between North and South Korea improves, the SMG will expand the target for exchange and cooperation to include Pyeongyang.

    • The cities in North East Asia need to have close exchanges and cooperate in many areas. However, since the fast-changing international climate creates complicated power dynamics, the SMG will exclude political issues and focus instead on air quality, culture and tourism, education and youth problems.
    •  ▴China: Maintain partnership through the integrated committee held jointly with Beijing, ▴Japan: Co-host events for the 30th anniversary of the Seoul-Tokyo Sister city relationship in 2018, ▴United States: Expand the human interaction with San Francisco to include Houston and Los Angeles, expand the cooperation network to include international think tank organizations such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution, ▴Russia; Strengthen cultural and tourism exchanges with sister city Moscow and promote exchange with cities in the Far East including Vladivostok in connection with the Korea-Russia Far East Network Establishment Project.
    • Contribute to the peace and mutual prosperity of Northeast Asia by strengthening international cooperation with major cities of world powers such as China, Japan, the United States and Russia.

Newly implemented the 'Mayors’ Meeting for Sharing Seoul’s Urban Policies', First Meeting to be Held in October in Connection with the OECD Inclusive Growth Conference

  • The ‘Mayors’ Meeting for Sharing Seoul’s Urban Policies' will be newly established for mayors of major cities in the world to gather in Seoul and discuss various urban policies to solve environmental, transportational and housing issues. The first meeting will be held in October. Invitations will be sent out to mayors who will attend the OECD Inclusive Growth Conference (mayors of 50 cities) and ‘ICLEI Seoul Mayors Forum on Climate Change (mayors of 40 cities).’

    • Strengthen attraction of and cooperation with international organizations. 20 additional international organizations will be attracted by 2020 (30 currently in Seoul). The Seoul Innovation Park will attract international organizations in the areas of social economy and innovation while the Southeast International Exchange Complex (COEX – Jamsil Sports Complex) will form an international organization cluster by securing a dedicated office space.
  • The SMG will take outstanding policies in transportation, waterworks and e-Government and turn them into the urban diplomacy core brands in order to solve global urban problems. To that end, the SMG will expand the development of policy manuals to 200 cases (76 cases as of 2017) so that other cities can easily adopt the policies of SMG and also develop on-line learning programs for civic officers in overseas cities by the end of the year to make them easier to understand.

    • The policy manual will be shared among member cities through the ‘World City Policy-sharing On-line Platform,’ that has been jointly established by the SMG, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), and CityNet.
    • Appointed Seoul-loving foreigners as 'Seoul Global Ambassadors,’ and increased the international cooperation fund to KRW 10 billion

Appointed Seoul-loving foreigners as 'Seoul Global Ambassadors,'…strengthened public-private cooperation urban diplomacy

  • The SMG will strengthen public-private cooperation urban diplomacy by creating a network with Seoul-loving foreigners, outside experts and private organizations. New installment of the Seoul Global Ambassador program and the appointment of ambassadors is a leading example.

    • Seoul Global Ambassador: Ambassadors will be appointed among members of the Seoul Club (10 cities, 143 members), which consist of overseas residents who have high interest in Seoul or have stayed in Seoul in the past to study abroad or for other reasons, and hold an advising committee in Seoul each year to systematize the advisory function of ambassadors.
    • International Exchange Strategy Advisory Committee: Increase the pool for the 'International Exchange Strategy Advisory Group,' which has been in operation since 2014, to 50 people (currently 14 members) and seek to achieve qualitative internal stability by securing regional experts, as well as experts in the subject of international organizations, response to climate change and inclusive growth.
    • International cooperation project with private organizations: Cooperation projects with private organizations and corporations in Seoul (230 total) that are in the process of promoting international exchange activities will be promoted for the first time. Opinions will be collected through meetings this year and an exchange project contest will be held next year using international cooperation funds to secure ideas that satisfy the public need and are effective.

Increase the international cooperation fund up to KRW 10 billion, newly establish the ‘Urban Diplomacy Policy Meeting’ as an international exchange control tower

  • As a resource for urban diplomacy, form an international cooperation fund of up to KRW 10 billion (KRW 2.7 billion as of December 2016) by 2020 for the purpose of exchange and cooperation with international cities.

    • Also, establish the Urban Diplomacy Policy Meeting as a control tower that integrates and controls international exchange projects that are carried out by the SMG, its 22 investment companies, and the 25 autonomous districts in Seoul.
    • At the same time, the SMG will strengthen civic officers’ capacity regarding international exchange and revise related ordinances (Ordinance on the Promotion of Seoul City’s International Exchange and Cooperation, etc.) and regulations so that the urban diplomacy plan is carried out smoothly.
  • Mayor Park Won-soon said, “In contrast to traditional intra-national diplomacy that is influenced by the political and social climate, urban diplomacy is a fast and practical way to solve global issues that can directly impact people’s lives such as climate change response or polarization of the society,” and added, “The Seoul Metropolitan Government will carry out the urban diplomacy plan, which contains the basic direction and specific policy tasks of urban diplomacy, in earnest, to solve global urban problems and contribute to the peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia.”