Korea's overseas aid agency launched a new exhibition Thursday to showcase Seoul's initiatives for sustainable development and the agency's major projects to support them, as it celebrated the 25th anniversary of its inception.
Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) opened the exhibition, entitled "KOICA Road for Sustainable Development," at the exhibition center in its headquarters in Seongnam, just south of Seoul.
|KOICA exhibition in May 22, 2015 (Yonhap)|
The exhibition, which will run through February next year, also marks the first year of the implementation of the U.N.'s new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were adopted last year to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change by 2030.
The opening ceremony brought together some 150 government officials, foreign diplomats, business leaders, aid workers and experts including KOICA President Kim Young-mok and the agency's publicity envoy Um Hong-gil.
The exhibition introduces KOICA's five flagship programs that the agency will push for from this year to help achieve the SDGs -- 17 goals and 169 targets to overcome a slew of global challenges over the next 15 years.
The five programs are designed to facilitate education for girls and rural development; fight infectious diseases and climate change; and enhance living conditions through science and technology.
The exhibition also showcases the cultures of KOICA's three partner countries -- Laos, Ghana and Paraguay. Their handcrafts, traditional garments and musical instruments are on display for visitors to get a taste of their unique cultures.
During the opening ceremony, KOICA appointed Kang Sue-jin, world-renowned ballerina and artistic director of the Korean National Ballet, as its special envoy for education and culture as part of efforts to promote its aid programs at home and abroad.
Underscoring the "unimaginably great" power of culture, Kang pledged to capitalize on the universal nature of ballet to promote Korea's aid campaigns.
"Ballet is an art that doesn't require any language to deliver a message," she said. "Whichever region you go to or whichever country you travel to, you can deliver a lot (of messages) we want to convey through ballet."
Later in the day, KOICA is to hold a development cooperation forum where participants will discuss how to effectively implement KOICA's educational campaign for girls in developing countries, called "Better Life for Girls (BLG)."
Through the BLG campaign, the agency seeks to address an array of issues including health care, education and capability-building through job training programs. (Yonhap)