Bridging the Global Gap: Korea’s Leadership Agenda for the G-20

 

The upcoming G-20 Leaders’ Summit, which will be held in Seoul on 11–12 November is of critical importance to the global economy as the world looks for guidance amid continued global economic uncertainty. Indeed, given the tepid results of the last summit in Toronto, the future relevance of the G-20 itself is at risk if concrete progress cannot be achieved in Seoul. Yet the stakes may be highest for South Korea and President Lee Myung-bak, who has put his personal legacy and the reputation of his country on the line. Despite the risky gamble, as the first non-Western host of the G-20, Korea finds itself in an unprecedented position to seize the mantle of global leadership and propel the G-20 into a new era. Capitalizing on its unique development experience as well as its singular role among the G-20 membership as the middle-power, South Korea can provide exceptional leadership on a global level. Note: This paper was written in October 2010, before the 11–12 November 2010 G-20 summit in Seoul. Thus, the paper was written in future terms although the event has now passed.

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