On Thursday July 2nd, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme Executive Coordinator, Richard Dictus, and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) President, Youngmok Kim, signed the new Agreement on the United Nations University Youth Volunteer Programme, which further strengthens the collaboration between the two organizations.
Under this new agreement, ten Korean university students in 2015 as well as ten others in 2016 will be Fully Funded by KOICA to serve as UN Volunteers on peace and development projects. In 2014, several fully funded UN Volunteer Specialists were deployed by KOICA across five countries, including Bangladesh, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, Nepal and the Philippines.
Mr. Kim reaffirmed his ambitions to increase the number of Korean volunteers, including UN Volunteers, citing the strong mutual benefits for the communities in which volunteers work, and for the volunteers themselves. The UNV Executive Coordinator underlined the importance of the fully funded programme for UNV and the programmatic reorientation through UNVs five Global Programmes, such as climate change.
He also welcomed the inaugural Strategic Dialogue, which will be jointly organized by UNV and the Government of Korea, on 8 October 2015, in Seoul. The meeting aims to further enhance the UNV Korea relationship and afford each organization the opportunity to gain more insights into the other organizations strategic priorities. Moreover, the head of UNV highlighted that in line with the UN Secretary-Generals five-year agenda focusing on youth development, UNV supports the deployment of more Korean nationals, in particular youth, as international UN Volunteers to serve in UNV program countries.
The signing of this agreement continues to build the solid relationship between UNV and KOICA. Since 2009, KOICA has fully funded 71 volunteers to serve with UN agencies in a range of assignments. The new agreement on the UN University Youth Volunteer Programme is an opportunity to further strengthen the partnership between the two organizations.
KOICA, Koreas bilateral aid agency, which sends Korean volunteers abroad, contributes to addressing global development issues by realizing the sustainable socio-economic development of partner countries and pursuing with global partners poverty reduction and improving the quality of life in developing countries. The Korean Consulate in Bonn has been supporting UNVs continued engagement with Korean partners.