Dear EKC delegates,
As Ambassador to the Republic of Korea to France, I warmly welcome all participants to EKC 2022 in Marseille. I would also like to congratulate the Korean Federation of Science and Technology Societies and the nine Korean Associations in Europe for hosting this year’s Europe-Korea Science and Technology Conference.
It is indeed my great pleasure that this year’s event is finally to be held in its entirety, for the event unfortunately had to be either cancelled or held separately in several different locations for the last couple of years. In particular, I look forward to this year’s keynote speech by Ban Ki-moon, the 8th UN Secretary-General, whose leadership in the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is still remembered by all; the presentations by Professor Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; and those by Bernard Bigot, Director-General of ITER who leads its fusion energy project.
Recently, countries worldwide are witnessing various problems ranging from climate change to pandemic which, if left unaddressed, would continue to hamper our efforts to build a better and more sustainable future. Thus, I believe the theme of this year’s conference, “Pathways to Sustainability: the role of emerging technologies,” is a very timely and meaningful topic for discussion for us all.
The global nature of those challenges makes them impossible to be addressed by a single country. They require our common efforts, especially in the fields of science and technology, to bring about tangible results. As we all know from our experience, science and technology have been at the core of major transformations of our society. They have been the keys not only to open a new era of digital transformations that further strengthened the connectivity and inclusivity of our communities, but also to respond to major crises including COVID-19 through vaccine development and contact tracing. They are also our hope in tackling climate issues and developing a greener future, which I believe is a priority for many countries worldwide.
Thus, at this critical moment when the world needs the great potential of science and technology more than ever, I believe that EKC 2022 would certainly serve an important function in promoting international cooperation in those fields. Bringing together distinguished guests from academia, governments and industries to share their valuable insights and experience, it will provide a firm stepping stone to building a future that we envision. It is my sincere wish that through this year’s conference more and more collaborations between different countries and different sectors would blossom, moving forward.
Last but not least, I would also like to highlight this year’s side event, a visit to the ITER. I personally had an opportunity to visit it last year and was truly impressed by the enormous scale and level of technologies it has developed to produce fusion energy. I hope this year’s side event to be a meaningful experience for all of you as well to get a deeper insight into this clean and safe energy.
Then, I look forward to seeing you all this July in Marseille.
YOO, Dae Jong
Embassy of the Republic of Korea in France