The Governors Association of Korea held its 50th General Assembly for the first time since the end of the 8th Regional Election at Seoul President Hotel on August 19, with 13 mayors and provincial governors in attendance.
In the general assembly, Gyeongbuk Provincial Governor Lee Cheol-woo was unanimously elected as 16th president of the Governors Association of Korea.
Governor Lee will lead the association for one year as the 16th president. The Governors Association of Korea is expected to build a close cooperative relationship with the central government, as the new Yun Seok-yul administration declared “an era of local autonomy units” and presented balanced regional development as a national paradigm.
“More than 30 years have passed since the implementation of the local autonomy system in Korea and 20 years have passed since the Governors Association of Korea was formed,” Governor Lee said regarding the local autonomy system.
“But the autonomy and independence of local autonomy units in Korea still have a long way to go compared to other advanced countries due to the Korean local autonomy system’ limits and interferences from the central government.”
Gyeongbuk Provincial Governor Lee Cheol-woo was unanimously elected as 16th president of the Governors Association of Korea.
Governor Lee insisted that Korea create a “revolutionary local autonomy era” by elevating the upcoming Local Era Committee at the deputy prime minister level, as expectations for decentralization are high with the new government’s declaration of promoting an era of local autonomy units.
“For the realization of a local era with balanced regional development, we can open an era of happiness for the people by building education, medical care, culture, art, and transportation infrastructure that can match that of the Seoul metropolitan area in provincial regions and solving the nation’s low birth rate problem,” Governor Lee added.
“As the president of the Governors Association of Korea participated as the vice chairman at a central-regional government cooperation meeting held in January last year, I will do our best to ensure that regional people’s opinions are reflected in the state affairs together with other provincial governors,” Lee said, showing his strong sense of responsibility as president of the group.
“Although Korea’s local autonomy system has been enforced for over 30 years ago, those in provincial regions still find themselves in a central government-driven society,” Governor Lee said. “We will place emphasis on fostering the global capacities of local governments and do our utmost in enhancing mutual cooperation between central and local governments as well as among local governments.”
The Association reported on the efficient promotion of decentralization-balanced development policy tasks, the regular holding of the Central Local Cooperation Meeting and the 2022 UCLG General Assembly in Daejeon during the General Assembly.
President Lee Cheol-woo insisted that Korea create a “revolutionary local autonomy era.”
The Association will expand local autonomy units’ participation in establishing central-local government cooperation systems and forming core promotion organizations, setting priorities for 20 policy tasks, and promoting them in accordance with policies for the efficient implementation of decentralization and balanced regional development policy tasks. “We plan to reflect local opinions as much as possible through the continuous inspection of related plans,” Lee said.
Mayors and provincial governors vowed to do their best such as continuing to make suggestions to the central government and the National Assembly through close cooperation among cities and provinces to realize true local autonomy.
Governor Lee & Members of GAOK exchange developmental views in the 50th General Assembly.
Established in 1999, the Governors Association of Korea consists of mayors and governors of 17 metropolitan cities and provinces and is committed to creating a livable country for all citizens and revitalize local governments by promoting a healthy local autonomy system in Korea through decentralization.
The Governors Association of Korea convenes, informs and organizes meetings, communicates with local governments to proceed with work and projects, and manages financial and accounting for its operations.
It also collects and distributes information on local autonomy development, implements programs for empowering local decentralization and supports international affairs of local governments.
Jeollabuk-do Gov. Kim Kwan-young Elected as 16th Vice President of Governors Association of Korea. (Photo: Jeollabuk-do)
Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok Elected as 16th Vice President of Governors Association of Korea.
(Photo: Incheon Metropolitan City)
Jeollabuk-do Gov. Kim Elected as 16th Vice President of Governors Association of Korea. Jeollabuk-do Gov. Kim Kwan-young was elected as the 16th vice president of the Governors Association of Korea.
Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok and Daejeon Mayor Lee Jang-woo were also elected as vice president of the association and an auditor, respectively.
The appointment of the vice presidents and auditor followed as it was delegated to President Lee Cheol-woo of the Governors Association of Korea during the 50th General Assembly of the association.
President Lee of the association requested for joining forces with Jeollabuk-do Gov. Kim, Incheon Mayor Yoo and Daejon Mayor Lee’s participation in the leadership of the association for the development of local autonomy and decentralization. They accepted the appointment.
Vice President Kim represents the association in the absence of the president and oversees the operation of the body.
Gov. Kim, vice president of the association, said he would ramp up communication and cooperation between the central government and local governments frequently to cope with the common pending issues of municipal and provincial governments across the nation and promote local autonomy, decentralization and balanced regional development.