South Korea welcomes a recent proposal to establish a secretariat for the Group of 20, a ranking Seoul official said Tuesday, saying the countries must seriously consider institutionalizing the economic forum.
Sakong Il, head of the organizing committee for the upcoming G-20 summit in the South Korean capital, said Seoul is hoping the issue will be addressed following the meeting to be held here from Nov. 11-12.
"Under the current circumstances, we must continue working with the G-20 forum as the G-8 cannot be an answer," he said in an international symposium here on the Seoul summit.
"It is true there are some pessimistic views about the fate of the G-20 in the future, but as the chair of the forum, South Korea is working to make the Seoul summit a successful one," he said.
On the same token, South Korea also welcomes French President Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal to establish a G-20 secretariat, he noted, a move that will indicate G-20 member nations' willingness to continue holding the economic forum.
The summit of the world's 20 largest and fastest-growing economies was first launched in late 2008 at the onset of an unfolding global crisis. It has since been named the world's "premier forum for economic cooperation," filling the role of the world's top steering committee that had long been played by the G-8, or Group of Eight most advanced and powerful nations in the world.
"There is a need to solidify the status of the G-20 summit as the world's top steering economic committee," Sakong told the meeting.
Sakong, however, stressed the need for the global forum to focus on international issues, rather than regional or bilateral disputes, such as the ongoing dispute between the United States and China over the latter's pegging of its local currency to the U.S. greenback.
"Discussions regarding macroeconomic policies such as currency issues are taking place within the mutual assessment process of the G-20 as part of efforts to implement a framework on sustainable and balanced growth that was agreed upon at the Pittsburgh summit" held in September 2009, he said.