The Ministry of Environment (Minister Cho Myung-rae) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minister Kang Kyung-wha) announced that an expert forum for policy consultation will be held on August 14 at Seoul Plaza Hotel following the designation of September 7 as the national "Blue Sky Day."
The forum will be attended by Cho Myung-rae, the Minister of Environment, Yoo Yeon-chul, the Korean Ambassador for Climate Change, and experts from diverse sectors of the society encompassing industry, academia, media, and civil society. They will discuss the plan to hold the inaugural "Blue Sky Day" event and ways to achieve the blue sky and clean air.
September 7 is particularly meaningful as it is the very first international commemorative day that was proposed by South Korea and officially adopted by the United Nations. It is the fruitful result of joint efforts between the Korean government and the people, making the day even more special.
The original idea was suggested, in August 2019, by the citizen group of public policy participation organized by the National Council on Climate Change and Air Quality (Chair Ban Ki-moon), serving as the basis for the proposal the President Moon Jae-in addressed to the international society at United Nations Climate Action Summit in September last year.
Three months later in December, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution to designate September 7 as the "International Day of Clean Air for blue skies" during its 74th session.
South Korea itself designated the day as the national "Blue Sky Day" after the State Council passed the revised bill for "Presidential Decree on National Commemorative Days, etc." on last August 11.
The forum aims at raising awareness on the goal and significance of such a day and having insights of experts from diverse sectors across the society for national strategies and international cooperation towards the blue sky and clean air.
In addition, discussion will be made on the plan for inaugural ceremony for the national "Blue Sky Day" to be co-hosted by the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the upcoming September 7 at Nodeulseom Island in Seoul under the theme "Clean Air for All" as provided by the United Nations Environment Programme.
The forum will be attended by Sunwoo Young, Secretary General of International Union of Air Pollution Prevention and Environmental Protection Associations, Hong Hyun-jong, Secretary General of Korea Business Council for Sustainable Development, Ha Ji-won, President of Ecomom Korea, Kang Chan- soo, Journalist at JoongAng Ilbo, Lee Kyeong-min, Journalist at Electronic Times Internet, Lee Jung Woo, P.O.D Communications Ine and others.
"Recently, we are seeing the air quality getting better with the lower level of fine dust but the challenge remains unsolved," the Environment Minister Cho emphasized. "Taking this opportunity, we will pull on the reins again to seek for the fundamental solution towards cleaner air and to strengthen international cooperation."
Attachment 1. History of "Blue Sky Day" designation
2. Policy consultation forum marking designation of "Blue Sky Day" (Draft agenda)