IAEA Director General makes a visit to PACT concert in Korea

20 April 2010

IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano visited the Republic of Korea on April 19 and attended the “Freedom Against Cancer Concert” organized by the Korea Nuclear International Cooperation Foundation (KONICOF). KONICOF is a partner organization of the IAEA's Programme of Action for Cancer Therapy (PACT) and has raised over $50 000 to date from Korean citizens for PACT's cancer control programmes. The concert helped to raise awareness of the need to increase resources for people diagnosed with cancer in developing countries.

At the concert, the Director General expressed gratitude for Korea's effort to reach out to its citizens and include them in the global fight against cancer. Director General Amano said that, “The IAEA is working to improve outcomes for cancer patients in the world and this concert is very meaningful in helping to lift patients' spirits and make more people aware of IAEA's PACT activities”. The Director General also added, “On behalf of IAEA, I want to thank the Korean organizations involved in organizing the concert for voluntarily holding this event for IAEA PACT's publicity and fundraising”.

During the concert, four institutions including the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety (KINS), St. Mary's Hospital, Sanofi-Aventis Korea and Satrec-i announced a special donation to KONICOF's fund for PACT, which will be made during the IAEA's General Conference in September 2010. KINS makes an annual matching grant donation to KONICOF in the same amount of the voluntary donations made by its employees. Satrec-i donates a percentage of sales made in its nuclear technology department every year, and Sanofi-Aventis supports the domestic publicity activities of KONICOF and PACT in Korea.

The Republic of Korea is one of PACT's most enthusiastic and innovative supporters. In July 2007, KONICOF launched a nation-wide campaign aimed at raising public donations for PACT's activities and it has expanded on this effort over the past three years. KONICOF has been holding the “Freedom Against Cancer” concert since 2009 on a regular basis at major hospitals in Korea. Several celebrities and musicians perform at the concert and KONICOF organizes fundraising and publicity activities for PACT during the concert. KONICOF plans to hold concerts about 10 times throughout the year.

In addition to attending the concert, during his visit to Korea, Director General Amano also attended the International Forum on Nuclear Safety Challenges, held a meeting with the Minister of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) of Korea and visited several nuclear institutes.