[Speech (16.7.1)] Welcoming Remarks at the 1st KOICA-JICA Forum on International Volunteering

2016.07.14

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Welcoming Remarks at

The 1st KOICA-JICA Forum on International Volunteering

Conference Hall, KOICA

July 1, 2016 (Fri)

 

By In Shik Kim, President of KOICA

 

1. Introduction

Honorable Ms. Kae Yanakisawa, Vice-president of JICA,

Honorable Mr. Richard Dictus, Executive Coordinator of United Nations Volunteer,

Distinguished guests and ladies and gentlement,

 

It is a great pleasure for KOICA to co-host the first KOICA-JICA Forum on International Volunteering. I would like to recognize Vice-president of JICA as well as her staff for kind support and coordination throughout the organization of this forum. I also want to thank UNV Executive Coordinator for taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit KOICA. I appreciate his dedication and commitment to strengthening the partnership with KOICA and I believe his visit to this forum signals even stronger cooperation going forward. I would like to acknowledge distinguished speakers, panelists and participants for being here today. With the strong presence of participants from diverse backgrounds, I am sure that the first KOICA-JICA Forum on International Volunteering will be successful in setting the stage for deep and insightful discussions over international volunteering. I am hopeful that the forum will be a great opportunity to take stock of achievements, strengthen our partnerships and identify key contributions of volunteerism to sustainable development.

 

2. Volunteerism and Development

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) last year represents a historic opportunity to promote the position of volunteerism as a cross-cutting means of implementation that can underpin our progress toward the SDGs. Volunteerism has power and potentials to create meaningful and lasting results in development because it enables people-centered development and shared growth, effectively builds local capacity and strengthens engagements between people. Volunteerism also transforms individuals with passion and inspiration into competent global citizens who, in turn, can contribute to development. To realize and maximize all these benefits from volunteerism, it is my firm belief that international volunteer-sending organizations should work in close cooperation. If diverse partners, international institutions, government organizations, businesses, civil society and academia work together with a common vision, it will create a virtuous cycle in which new knowledge, key lessons and best practices can be shared and replicated across the volunteer community, strengthening distinctive values of volunteerism. As the two most prominent volunteer sending organizations in the world, KOICA and JICA can play an important role in this process. This is how the first KOICA-JICA Forum on International Volunteering was conceived. I have no doubt that your insights, ideas and practices brought forward in this forum will be helpful in shaping new policies, strategies and programs to enhance our relevance and effectiveness in the new development landscape.

 

3. KOICA and World Friends Korea

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

 

Since the birth of World Friends Korea (WFK) in 2009 as the integrated brand of Korean overseas volunteer programs, we have come a long way in terms of fostering and developing the Korean volunteerism. As of 2014, World Friends Korea has given opportunities to over 50,000 overseas volunteers to share Korea's development knowhow, technology and experience with the international community. We are sending about 4,500 volunteers to more than 50 countries on an annual basis. With a wide range of initiatives dedicated to strengthening our reach, we aim to provide a platform that engages diverse stakeholders and social classes, including businesses, civil society and academia. KOICA, as Korean government’s premier grant aid agency, recognizes the value and importance of World Friends Korea. We see volunteers as core actors who can deliver, complement and facilitate our development projects at field-levels. We appreciate what our volunteers have done and achieved as frontline workers of development cooperation. In addition, volunteerism is an important channel for young people to accumulate precious field experiences that help them grow into global talents. Recognizing these values, we are committed to strengthening the role and contribution of volunteers to our organizational mission as well as sustainable development going forward.

 

4. Closing

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

In closing, I once again want to express my special gratitude to all our partners for participating in the forum and making this meaningful forum possible. We recognize the growing importance of volunteerism as a powerful tool for civic engagement, capacity building, advocacy and people-oriented development cooperation. By continuously making a case for volunteerism through World Friends Korea, KOICA will bring volunteers into our development efforts to expand our reach, improve our effectiveness and contribute to sustainable development. In doing so, we are committed to joining hands with partners from around the world because I believe partnership holds power to generate breakthroughs and create new opportunities. It is my deepest hope that today’s forum will produce meaningful results in deepening our understanding in volunteerism and uncovering the future path that we need to take together. In this context, I sincerely hope that this meaningful forum can be organized on a regular basis. By capitalizing on this kind of opportunity, I believe we, as Asian volunteer-sending organizations, can expand our knowledge base, promote volunteerism and identify more opportunities to work together to contribute to sustainable development.

Once again, I would like to thank you for your participation and look forward to constructive and insightful discussions throughout the forum.

 

Thank you very much.

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