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Legal framework

Korea enacted the Framework Act on International Development Cooperation (Framework Act) and the Presidential Decree which came into force in July 2010, and laid the legal basis for a more effective ODA system. The Framework Act defines basic principles and objectives, role of the Committee for International Development Cooperation (CIDC), formulation of the Mid-term ODA Policy, roles and functions of agencies supervising international development cooperation, selection of priority partner countries, evaluation, support for civil organization, and public relations to enhanced transparency and people’s participation. The Presidential Decree stipulates the detailed mandates for the enforcement of the Framework Act.

The Framework Act (Article 3) identifies the following five basic principles of the Korea’s international development cooperation: (i) reduce poverty in developing countries; (ii) improve the human rights of women and children, and achieve gender equality; (iii) realize sustainable development and humanitarianism; (iv) promote cooperative economic relations with developing partners; and (v) pursue peace and prosperity in the international community. Under these principles, objectives of the Korea’s International Development Cooperation are to achieve the following matters: (i) alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life of people in developing countries; (ii) support partner country’s development and improve the system and conditions for such development; (iii) reinforce friendly relations with developing countries; (iv) contribute toward the resolution of global problems related to international development cooperation; and (v) other matters deemed necessary for realizing the basic principles. These visions are reflected in ODA policies and strategies and also repeatedly commented in various global fora on international development cooperation.

The Korean President's remarks at international conferences

  • Recognizing that narrowing the development gap is closely linked to the framework for strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy, the Korean President suggested the promotion of a sustainable, inclusive and resilient growth in developing countries, and LDCs in particular as the goal of the Seoul Consensus on Development. < Letter of the President as the Chairperson of the G20 Seoul Summit (November 3, 2010) >
  • The Korean President shared some views on how to shape the future of international development cooperation as follows: (i) ownership of partner countries; (ii) inclusive development partnership; (iii) results-oriented development cooperation; (iv) accountable development cooperation; and (v) enhanced synergy among global fora < Keynote Speech in the Busan HLF-4 (November 30, 2011) >

In addition to the Framework Act and the Presidential Decree, there are several laws related to specific ODA agencies and activities. To introduce major regulations;

Act on the Measures for the Admission to International Financial Institutions (enacted in 1963) regulates the membership with the international financial institutions and measures to discharge the responsibilities as a member prescribed in the agreements governing the respective international financial institutions

Economic Development Cooperation Fund Act (enacted in 1987) regulates the establishment, operation and management of the Economic Development Cooperation Fund as concessional loan

Korea International Cooperation Agency Act (enacted in 1991) sets out the foundation of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and its mandates to carry out grant aid projects and technical cooperation

Overseas Emergency Relief Act (enacted in 2007) prescribes the matters necessary for overseas emergency relief, such as dispatch of emergency relief teams, provision of emergency relief supplies, support for interim recovery from disasters, etc.