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UNICEF to reopen office in Seoul

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) will reopen its office in Seoul this week to boost its partnership with South Korea over assistance for children, the foreign ministry here said Monday.

The ceremony to mark the opening in central Seoul on Tuesday will be attended by Vice Foreign Minister Ahn Chong-ghee and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Omar Abdi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Ahn will deliver a welcoming speech where he plans to commit the South Korean government’s continuing contributions to the improvement of children’s rights and express hopes for a tighter partnership between South Korea and UNICEF.

UNICEF had previously closed its office in Seoul in 1993, which had been established in 1962 with an aim to provide assistance to South Korean children suffering in the aftermath of the devastating Korean War (1950-53).

The reopening this time has the completely different purpose of boosting UNICEF’s partnership with South Korea, which has been steadily increasing its contributions to global efforts to help children, the ministry noted.

“This indicates that our country, an assistance-receiving country on the children’s nutrition and education fronts, has cemented its status as a main contributing country for UNICEF, a leading U.N. organization for the protection of international children’s rights,” according to the foreign ministry.

The presence in Seoul marks UNICEF’s third overseas office for partnership enhancement besides those in Tokyo and Brussels, it said.

“As the opening of the UNICEF office in Seoul laid the groundwork for developing and diversifying the South Korea-UNICEF partnership, our government will continue to cooperate with UNICEF through the local office and increase contributions for children of the world,” the ministry added. (Yonhap)


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