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The NEAR Member Training Program Participants Visits the NEAR Secretariat2024-07-01

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On July 1, the 15 participants—from China, Mongolia, and Russia—of the 2024 NEAR Member Training Program visited the NEAR Secretariat under the lead of Mr. LEE Ju-hyoung, director-general of the Institute for International Development Cooperation at Yeungnam University, and had a dialogue with Secretary-General LIM Byung-jin.


Delivering a warm welcome to the participants, Mr. Lim expressed his hopes that this newly developed training program, initiated at the request of Mongolian member-regions, would provide an opportunity to take a look at successful cases of South Korea’s local development strategies including Saemaul Undong, and to seek ways to address various issues faced by the regional governments of Northeast Asia such as digital economy, climate change, and reforestation. 



Mr. Lim stated that NEAR is now expanding the scope of its membership with the increasing number of its regular and associate members, and is making efforts to vitalize many of its events. Mr. Lim expressed his hopes that upon returning to their home countries, the participants will maintain their interest and serve as NEAR supporters. 


In particular, Mr. Lim conveyed that Mr. CHOI Oe-chool, president of Yeungnam University, has agreed to accept 3 officials—each from China, Mongolia, and Russia—as the new students of next year’s master-degree program at the Park Chung Hee School of Policy and Saemaul (PSPS) on Mr. Lim’s recommendation­­­­­. The accepted students will receive financial benefits such as a monthly living allowance and waivers for the application fee and all tuition fees. Mr. Lim asked the member-regions to show significant interest in this opportunity.  


At the dialogue, the participants expressed their gratitude to the NEAR Secretariat for organizing this training program and for their thoughtful consideration, mentioning their high satisfaction with the lectures prepared by Yeungnam University. They also said, “With the Action Plans we developed during the program, we will strive to implement them into our government policies upon returning to our home countries. We hope to see this training program held again next year.”  



In response, Mr. Lim said “Although this training program is held for the first time, I’m so glad to see the participants expressing their high satisfaction,” and asked them to leave notes about their thoughts or feelings on their experiences so that these can be used to improve the quality of next year’s training program.



During the Graduation Ceremony held in July 3, awards were presented to the outstanding teams after their presentations on Action Plans, with the attendance of LEE Byeong-wan, dean of PSPS, and Director-General Lee. The First Place was taken by the Russian participants, Second Place by Chinese paticipants, and Third Place by Mongolian participants. The Excellent Trainee Award went to Ms. Baatarmunkh Gandi from Orkhon Province of Mongolia.



The 2024 NEAR Member Training Program runs for 10 days, from June 26 to July 5. The participants will spend the rest of the schedule with cultural tours to landmarks such as Gyeongbokgung, Namsan Tower, Lotte Tower, and Everland before the end of the program.