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  • Seoul Metropolitan Government Exports Excellent Policies to Five Additional Countries and Cities, Including Bangladesh

    SMG 819

  • – Policies will be exported during the International City Policy Sharing Forum for Sustainable Development Goals (June 8th -10th)
    – Bangladesh was the 1st country which imported the Korean 119 system, and Seoul will be expanding cooperation to the transportation system of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam
    – Seoul’s tax system and waste disposal system will be shared with Colombo, Sri Lanka’s biggest city


    The Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMS) decided to export five of its great policies to five cities from five countries including Colombo, Sri Lanka’s biggest city, and to Bangladeshi cities which visited Seoul in order to take part in the “International City Policy Sharing Forum for Sustainable Development Goals,” which ended on Friday, June 10th.

    The five cities (countries) are Bangladesh, Colombo, Sri Lanka, Bogor, Indonesia, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. All of the cities other than Ho Chi Minh City will import Seoul’s policies for the first time.

    The five cities (countries) requested the SMG so that they can introduce Seoul’s advanced policies, including electronic government, the smart transportation system, and smart city development. During the forum, the City representatives and Seoul Mayor Won-soon Park, Deputy Mayor, and other departments actively cooperated and decided to share policies and achieved an export agreement.

    The SMG finalized the “International City Policy Sharing Forum for Sustainable Development Goals” from Wednesday, June 8th to Friday, 10th with 500 central government employees from 11 departments and representatives from 38 foreign cities (8 mayors, 5 deputy mayors, 1 vice minister). The SMG announced that based on the discussions during the forum that it will specify policy exports and cooperation systems with the cities after having practical meetings with them.

    The forum was hosted by the SMG with the UN ESCAP (UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) and CityNet (Local Government Network for Human Settlement Programs) to find practical ways to implement and realize sustainable development goals (SDGs, ’16-30’) adopted at the UN Development Summit last September.

    Bangladesh: Bangladesh will become the first export country of Seoul’s 119 fire emergency system based on high IT technology. On Thursday, June 9th, Seoul’s fire emergency department and Bangladesh’s fire and civil defense system wrote an MOU.

    Bangladesh has been willing to adopt Seoul’s emergency system as it has a relatively high amount of human emergencies, due to various disasters. Seoul’s fire emergency department will export a local service module as well as provide a consultation service so that the 119 fire emergency system can be well adapted to Bangladesh.

    At the same time, cooperation projects in disaster management, such as fire department capacity building training or joint exercises, will be carried out.

    Colombo, Sri Lanka: The SMG will transfer its tax administration system and waste disposal system to Colombo, Sri Lanka. On Wednesday, June 8th, Seoul Mayor Won-soon Park and Colombo Mayor A.J.M Muzammil signed an MOU for the cooperating cities.

    The city of Colombo is currently manually imposing and gathering taxes. Since the city is developing rapidly, the property tax revenues are increasing, which requires an automated tax system and a database for land and tax information.

    The SMG will establish an integrated information system that incorporates land and tax information by building cooperation systems between relevant departments, Seoul policy export teams, and Seoul tax system management companies.

    In addition, Mayor Muzammil told Mayor Won-soon Park that he hopes to apply Seoul’s advanced waste disposal policies to Colombo. Waste removal has been a growing social issue in Colombo.

    Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam: Ho Chi Minh already maintains close cooperation with Seoul in transportation. During the forum, the cities decided to expand the cooperation area to Seoul’s transportation card system and smart transportation system.

    Last September, the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation gave policy advice on building city railroads and staff training to Ho Chi Minh through the government’s KSP (Knowledge Sharing Program).

    For the forum, the Vice Chairman of National People’s Congress, Lê Vǎn Khoa visited Korea in order to ease consistent traffic jams of Ho Chi Minh, and also visited Seoul’s traffic information center by introducing a smart traffic system, TOPIS, to discuss ways to cooperate.

    Bogor, Indonesia: Bogor is highly interested in Seoul’s smart city development and smart administrative system based on ICT and is planning to benchmark the city of Seoul with world-renowned smart city development experience.

    In regards to this, Mayor Won-soon Park and Mayor Bima Arya Sugiarto signed a LOI to cooperate on developing a smart city and decided to share overall policies on city development.

    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Seoul discussed ways to share policies and public officer training programs with Addis Ababa. In the coming August, a delegation from Addis Ababa will visit Seoul to experience Seoul’s public officer training program.

    Addis Ababa is planning a largescale reconstruction plan of its city center, but due to a lack of experience of its public servants, it is having a difficulty. Therefore, through Seoul’s training program, it is going to strengthen capability of its workers.

    Meanwhile, every city that participated in the forum adopted a “Seoul Declaration” for 2030 sustainable goals during a fierce three-day debate. The “Seoul Declaration” is mainly composed of five areas including the motto of the SDGs adopted during the UN Development Summit held last September: “No one or city shall be left out.”

    First, realize integrated leadership of local government for sustainable development
    Second, emphasize that the ultimate agents of sustainable development are citizens
    Third, make smart and sustainable development plans and aim for inclusive development
    Fourth, facilitate partnerships between various stakeholders
    Fifth, continue to share knowledge and expertise between cities

    “This forum is a venue to share good policies and build partnerships for the sustainable development of global cities. In the forum, Seoul’s policy exports broadened. The SMG will continue to contribute to the development of the world’s cities by transferring Seoul’s city development experience to the development of developing countries’ cities,” said Byeonghan Lee, a member of the SMG’s International Cooperation Department.

    Seoul Communiqué on Urban Policy for the SDGs

    We, the Cities attending the first International Forum on Urban Policy for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), reaffirm our commitment to the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    In doing so, we recognize the following principles relevant in implementing policies for the sustainable development of cities.

    . Local Government Leadership and Integrated Planning for Sustainable Development
    We recognize that cities have a key role to play in the pursuit of sustainable development and the attainment of many goals and targets depended on their localization and ownership. Local governments are a critical partner in that process; they are at the forefront of achievement and have a vital role to play. The successful implementation of the SDGs will greatly depend on local action and leadership to forge local partnerships and manage concerted and cohesive efforts, guided by good governance principles.

    I. Citizen Participation is at the Heart of Sustainable Urban Development
    We believe that the main actors and ultimate beneficiaries of sustainable development policies should be citizens. Cities are sustainable only when citizens are actively engaged partners in full recognition of their responsibility towards both present and future generations. To include them, cities should engage in participatory deliberative processes to build a shared vision and values that incorporate the wisdom of citizens into the planning and implementation for sustainable development.

    II. Smart Planning for Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Development
    A smart city is inclusive and enables citizens to benefit from tailored and appropriately applied smart technologies. The quest for sustainable development requires policies, programs and open platforms that ensure sustained civic engagement. We encourage open platforms be promoted in order to formulate plans and policies and monitor and evaluate progress, and strengthen citizen communication to enhance participation.

    III. Multilevel Partnerships Promote Implementation
    To implement the required policies, common goals should guide all actors at different scales. We recognize the need for communities, private sector, local governments, the civil society, regional networks of cities and other relevant
    partners to communicate and develop a common vision to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Building upon the diversity of strengths, cooperation should promote shared development.

    IV. Knowledge Sharing among Cities
    We recognize that sustainable development cannot be achieved through the effort of a single city, local government or citizens alone. Cities may develop solutions on their own; however, sharing best practices through platforms, learning from partner cities, building capacities and replicating successful urban solutions can certainly accelerate regional sustainable urban development. Thus, networks of cities should be encouraged to share knowledge and experiences that promote cooperation and capacity building, including through the ‘Urban SDG Knowledge Platform’.

    The Sustainable Development Goals are a shared challenge that can be resolved only by cooperation among all cities and citizens. We call for cities to pursue sustainable development and shared prosperity by combining input from smart citizens from innovative cities around the world.

    No one shall be left behind – no city shall be left behind.

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