▲ From left, Han Tae Kyu, president of the Jeju Peace Institute, Carlos Lopes, executive director of Unitar, and Jeju Governor Kim Tae Hwan holding the signed memorandums of understanding. Photo by Darryl Coote
On March 30, at the offices of the Jeju provincial government, a memorandum of understanding was signed by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research, the Jeju Peace Institute and the Jeju government. The agreement was to facilitate the creation of a U.N. facility on Jeju to provide high-ranking officials from developing countries training in environmental sustain-ability and human security, so as to improve their countries standards of living.
The memorandum was signed by Carlos Lopes, executive director of Unitar; Han Tae Kyu, president of the JPI; and Kim Tae Hwan, governor of Jeju. The signing also symbolized a union between the Jeju government and the U.N. that will “open new avenues” to work closely on other projects in the future, Lopes said during his assembly address. The memorandum would “strengthen Jeju and the nation’s connection with the U.N.,” he said.
Negotiations between the two parties began midway through 2009 and were quickly concluded in large part due to the work and encouragement of Chung Dalho, a former ambassador to Egypt and Panama who will be chief of the training center.
Jeju was selected for the purpose of expanding the U.N.’s presence in Asia and is an ideal location from which to disseminate U.N. objectives throughout the region, Lopes said. Governor Kim said that Jeju’s rise from its tumultuous history, its infrastructure and the island’s association with peace were other important factors in the decision.
With the opening of the Unitar center on Jeju, the island will become one of 10 U.N. global training facilities that teach best practices with the sole purpose of implementing U.N. objects in their geographical region. Jeju will be responsible for training law-makers, administrators, members of parliament and journalists from developing countries in East Asia.
The training facility will be located in the International Peace Center in Jungmun and will open its doors in July.
ⓒ Jeju Weekly 2009 (http://www.jejuweekly.com)
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