Asia Foundation President David D. Arnold Visits Korea to Strengthen Partnerships, Signs MOU with KOICA
Seoul, June 16, 2015 — This week, The Asia Foundation’s President David D. Arnold visited South Korea and met with government officials and development partners to discuss opportunities and responsibilities arising from the nation’s growing role in the Asia-Pacific region. As part of his two-day visit, President Arnold met with the First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Cho Tae-yong and the Minister of Unification Mr. Hong Yong-pyo in separate meetings to discuss the Foundation’s work in Korea.
In an official signing ceremony, President Arnold and Kim Young-mok, President of the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to extend an ongoing strategic partnership. KOICA, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), implements grant aid and technical cooperation programs for the government of the Republic of Korea. View a slideshow of the KOICA partnership and photos from the ceremony, and read an In Asia interview with KOICA President Kim Young-mok.
“I am pleased to extend our important partnership with our longstanding partner, KOICA,” said Mr. Arnold. “As more Asian countries develop their own international aid programs, this agreement represents a significant step in building productive and positive development partnerships to meet the changing needs of the region.”
“The Asia Foundation has extensive expertise and networks in many Asian countries, and is one of our most reliable and committed partners. The MOU with The Asia Foundation is a symbol of KOICA’s efforts to promote innovate partnerships with various domestic and international organizations by utilizing their expertise, technology and creative ideas,” Mr. Kim said.
South Korea has undergone a dramatic economic transformation in recent decades, and the Foundation has been on the ground for more than 60 years assisting in that transition. The Foundation works with Korean partners like KOICA to meet the challenges and responsibilities arising from the nation’s growing role in the Asia-Pacific. In 2012, KOICA and The Asia Foundation signed a landmark agreement focused on local economic governance in Sri Lanka’s war-affected Eastern Province. The Foundation’s Sri Lanka office was selected as one of the first non-Korean NGOs ever to receive KOICA funding.
Other successful cooperation programs between KOICA and The Asia Foundation include placing junior KOICA staffers in the Foundation’s field offices, annual capacity-building study visits for Korean academics and professionals working in the field of development cooperation in countries with the Foundation’s field offices, and last month, a Books for Asia donation to the KOICA-established Cambodia-Korea Cooperation Center in Phnom Penh.
The Asia Foundation also signed a MOU with the Association of World Election Bodies (A-WEB), the world’s largest international electoral organization to support the progress of democracy in developing countries and emerging democracies. Drawing on the Foundation’s expertise in democracy and governance programming, this partnership will comprise of capacity-building program for electoral professionals, knowledge exchange, election observation program, and seminars for public policy makers.
The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. The Foundation opened its doors in Seoul in the aftermath of the Korean War in 1954, and supported institution building, research and training in support of development objectives, good governance, and women’s empowerment.
Read more about the Foundation’s work in Korea.
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