The Republic of Korea was established in 1948 and its government was recognized by the United Nations through the General Assembly Resolution 195. The United Nations played a key role in the birth of the Republic of Korea through such missions as monitoring the first general election and other reconstruction programs.
When the Korean War broke out in June 1950, the United Nations intervened, under Security Council Resolution 82, by sending armed forces to repel the Communists' aggression. It was the first undertaking of its kind in the history of the United Nations. Now, almost 50 years after the Korean armistice, a UN command is still present on the Korean Peninsula.
Since the armistice of 1953, the Korean issue had been one of the most controversial subjects of debate between the western and pro-Soviet blocks at the UN. Applications by the Republic of Korea to become a member of the UN were blocked. It was only in 1991 that both the ROK and the DPRK were simultaneously admitted to the UN as the Cold War structure of global politics receded.
Since its admission to the UN, the ROK has made significant contributions to the work of the UN through peacekeeping operations, development and the promotion of human rights. In particular, the United Nations recognized the ROK's efforts toward peace and reconciliation during the Millennium Summit of the UN, held in New York in early September 2000, through the adoption by the Co-Chairpersons of the Summit of a special statement welcoming the inter-Korean summit and encouraging its follow-up measures. On October 31, 2000 the General Assembly adopted a resolution entitled "Peace, Security and Unification on the Korean Peninsula," co-sponsored by 157 nations, including both Koreas. The Republic of Korea remains firm in its goal of establishing permanent peace on the peninsula and contributing to the stability and prosperity of the region and beyond.
The membership of the ROK to the Security Council in 1996-1997 has provided us with a renewed motivation to take on a more proactive role for the promotion of international peace and security. During its membership, the ROK focused on upgrading the Council's transparency, protecting humanitarian assistance to refugees and others, and enhancing the Council's capacity for resolving regional conflicts. During its presidency, the ROK initiated an open debate on the protection for humanitarian assistance to refugees and others in conflict situations, adopted four resolutions(1170-1110), and issued eight presidential statements(S/PRST/1997/25-32).
The Republic of Korea was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2013-2014 term at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly on October 18, 2012. Serving as a non-permanent member of the UN Secirity Council for the 2013-2014 term, the Republic of Korea will make every effort to contribute in meaningful ways to the maintenance of internaional peace and security.
The Republic of Korea has actively participated in international disarmament and non-proliferation efforts and multilateral export control. The Korean government has acceded and faithfully complied with all major international instruments, such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty(NPT), the Chemical Weapons Convention(CWC), the Biological Weapons Convention(BWC) and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty(CTBT). The Korean government is of the view that the international community should continue to make efforts to develop appropriate responses to ensure universal adherence to and full compliance with all agreements related to eliminating weapons of mass destruction in a more vigorous and comprehensive manner.
The Republic of Korea is fully committed to the development cooperation through bilateral and multilateral channels. In particular, Korea has steadily increased the total amount of Official Development Assistance(ODA) and will increase it to 0.1% of the GNP by 2005.
The Republic of Korea believes that international cooperation for the promotion of human rights and democracy should be strengthened. It has already ratified the core international human rights conventions and has signed newly established human rights instruments. Major human rights instruments that were signed or ratified by the ROK are as follows: