The International Vaccine Institute, the only international organization headquartered in Korea, appointed Mr. Bool Ahm Choi, a celebrity actor in Korea, as the Honorary Goodwill Ambassador on February 9. In this capacity, Mr. Choi will promote the Institute´s activities to develop news vaccines for children in developing countries.
"I have been involved in various projects for many organizations, but I feel especially honored to serve as the Honorary Goodwill Ambassador of the IVI because I would be able to contribute to saving children´s lives around the world," Mr. Choi said during the appointment ceremony held at the IVI. "As a Korean citizen, I am especially proud that Korea is actively supporting humanitarian research activities," he said. He also urged the Korean public to join forces with the IVI to support vaccine development and introduction for the poorest countries.
Dr. John Clemens, director of the IVI, said "The IVI is Korea´s gift to the world´s children. Our global humanitarian research activities will take further momentum with dedication of such a distinguished Korean citizen like Mr. Choi."
The IVI is supported by a large number of donors, including the Korean government that has generously provided the IVI headquarters building, valued at $140 million, in June 2003. The IVI is also supported by the Korean Support Committee, which consists of many prominent figures, including Jason Kim, former National Assembly Speaker, as the president, and Wan-kyoo Cho, former president of SNU, as the Chairman of the committee´s board of trustees. .
The IVI, which was created at an initiative of the United Nations Development Program in 1997, is the only international organization devoted solely to accelerating the development, and introduction of new vaccines for developing countries. It has 33 countries and the World Health Organization as its members, and has some 70 staff recruited from 20 countries.
* Photos will be emailed after the completion of the ceremony..