Continuing visit, chief of UN refugee agency leaves Republic of Korea for Japan
While in the ROK, Ruud Lubbers held talks with President Roh Moo-hyun, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yoon Young-kwan, Minister of Justice Kang Kum-sil and other government officials. They discussed Seoul’s domestic asylum policy and the issue of people from Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) fleeing their country to China and elsewhere.
Mr. Lubbers also thanked Seoul for its support for UNHCR dating back to the late 1970s. Last year, the ROK contributed nearly $2 million, about half of it in unearmarked funds for the agency’s regular annual budget. He urged officials to increase their ownership of UNHCR’s global work for refugees by boosting their level of funding.
In Japan, the second leg of his six-day mission, Mr. Lubbers is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and other high-ranking government officials.
On Thursday and Friday, Mr. Lubbers is expected to join former UNHCR chief Sadako Ogata and Japanese and African officials at an International Symposium on Refugees in Africa for World Refugee Day observances.