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Press release

New UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, travels to South Korea

Praises Government and donors for their continued support

SEOUL, 8 May 2010 – One week after taking over the helm at the United Nations Children’s Fund, new Executive Director Anthony Lake is travelling to Seoul, Republic of Korea, for a series of meetings aimed at promoting a better world for every child, everywhere.

On Executive Director Lake’s first UNICEF mission, he will meet senior government officials, including the Republic of Korea’s President, H.E. Lee Myung-bak, Prime Minister H.E. Chung Un-Chan, and other Korean dignitaries. He will also meet the heads of UNICEF’s global network of National Committees.

“Korea is an excellent first mission for me, because its recent history shows that with strong national commitment and international support a country can lift its citizens out of poverty and – having done so – can provide urgently-needed help to others to do the same,” said Lake, UNICEF’s sixth Executive Director.   “Koreans have every reason to be proud of the support they provide to the world’s most vulnerable children.”

Korea and UNICEF forged strong bonds in the immediate aftermath of the Korean war, when UNICEF provided needed assistance to South Korean children. By 1994, the Government and Korean citizens began giving back to UNICEF, empowering the organization to help children in need elsewhere in the world.  In 2009, South Korea was the 19th largest government donor to UNICEF, and donations from individual Koreans placed its National Committee among UNICEF’s top 10 private fundraising partners.

Lake will attend the 55th annual meeting of its global network of National Committees. They are a core element of UNICEF’s structure, representing the organization in developed countries where advocacy, rather than international aid, is used to promote children’s rights. UNICEF National Committees also raise funds for the organization (which is entirely funded by voluntary donations) to provide urgent humanitarian and development support to children in developing countries. The National Committees raise nearly one-third of UNICEF's global resources.

Executive Director Lake will travel to Tokyo upon completion of the Korean leg of his trip, and will discuss international assistance and children’s rights with the Crown Prince, senior Government ministers and officials, and representatives of the private sector and civil society.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

For further information please contact:
Chulho Hyun , Communications Officer, Mobile  +82 16 829 0722, Email, chyun@unicef.org




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