Making Korea a Country where People are Happy through Mutually Beneficial Development of central and local governments
On the occasion of receiving the Autonomous Local Government CEO Award of the Year in 2014
Venue The Air Force Club
First of all, I would like to express my deep gratitude to President Park Yoo-seo of the Korea Institute for Public Autonomy, Chairman Lee Jae-seung of the Local Polity Research Forum, and other members for giving me the honor of being selected as the Autonomous Local Government CEO of the Year 2014. Here are my words of congratulations to the other heads of local governments similarly selected for prizes.
The country’s local administrations have made dazzling developments since 1991, when local autonomy was reinstituted. Local governments, including Seoul, have upgraded the level of people’s satisfaction gradually through meticulous administrative services in spite of many restrictions. Local development has been made possible thanks to policies tailored to local situations.
I understand that this year the Autonomous Local Government CEO of the Year was selected by the chiefs of the planning and general affairs divisions of local governments, and they awarded high marks to the policies adopted by the SMG concerning our Carefree Hospital, the late-night bus, the energy saving campaign (Let’s Reduce the Number of Nuclear Power Plants), and so on. I feel deeply grateful for your giving me such an honor. There are a number of other heads of local governments sharing the honor with me today. Their exemplary policies include the Old Downtown Regeneration Project of Daejeon, Jung-Gu, the Opening of the Employment/Welfare Center of Seosan City, and the Green Hope Village Project of Hapcheon-Gun. I think that local governments need to strive to share good policies with each other.
I once played a leading role in the launch of the Mongmingwan Club as a member of a civic organization, before becoming the mayor of Seoul. The club was a council consisting of the heads of low-level local governments designed to share innovative local policies with each other and propose new alternatives. I have heard that the Local Polity Research Forum of the Korea Institute for Public Autonomy is a body with a similar nature. I think that it is a good thing for local government officials to meet together regularly to listen to the opinions of experts and those from the central government, and to share exemplary cases of local policies. Doing so will provide them with opportunities to build their own expertise and policy-related capabilities.
Efforts like these will go a long way to make ours a better and happier society, and help both central and local governments develop side by side.
Finally, I take my hat off to those, including the Local Polity Research Forum, striving for the development of local autonomy. I feel grateful again for the Korea Institute for Public Autonomy for giving me such an honor.