By Kuksung Nam. The Readable
Aug. 17, 2022 7:38PM KST Updated Aug. 18, 2022 3:55PM KST
The co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates, and South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol met in the presidential office on Tuesday and agreed to strengthen their cooperation on improving global health.
According to a video uploaded on the president’s official YouTube channel, President Yoon said in the beginning of the meeting that he hopes to build a successful relationship with the Gates Foundation and make contributions to global health.
This is the second time the South Korean president spoke with the co-chair. President Yoon had a conversation with Bill Gates over the phone in the end of June, approximately two months after his inauguration, which was held in May.
“We, together with others, helped create the fund to buy vaccines, called Gavi, and a fund called Global Fund to work on HIV, malaria, and TB,” the co-chair said in the meeting. “Korea has been a good partner in those, and we hope we could do more together.”
Gavi is a vaccines alliance that is financially supported by the Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, and the World Bank.
Bill Gates added that South Korea’s efforts to enhance global health by growing the aid budget and developing capabilities through universities, nonprofit organizations, and companies are “a strong match with the goals of the Gates Foundation.”
The co-chair also tweeted about the meeting on Wednesday, saying that he will “look forward to the continued partnership to reduce the burden of disease.”
Thank you, President Yoon, for your leadership in global health. I look forward to our continued partnership to reduce the burden of disease. pic.twitter.com/ejFalbRJ7q— Bill Gates (@BillGates) August 17, 2022
The Gates Foundation and the South Korean government signed a memorandum of understanding on August 16. The presidential office said in a press release that the South Korean government will expand the partnership with global health organizations, such as the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, and increase research and development in the field of global health care as part of the understanding.
CEPI is a nonprofit organization co-funded by the Gates Foundation to fund the development of vaccines against infectious diseases.
The co-chair met with South Korean lawmakers and delivered an address at the National Assembly on Tuesday morning. The meeting was organized by the South Korean National Assembly Speaker Kim Jin-pyo.
In the speech, which lasted about ten minutes, Bill Gates stressed the importance of collaboration in the field of global health and called for South Korea to participate more closely in the movement to enhance global health.
“There is a lot we need to do together. We need to reach deep. We need to build more partnerships. We need to encourage the best scientists,” said the co-chair in the address which was broadcasted online.
Source of the cover picture: Bill Gates' Twitter Feed (@BillGates)
Kuksung Nam is a cybersecurity journalist for The Readable. She covers cybersecurity issues in South Korea, including the public and private sectors. Prior to joining The Readable, she worked as a political reporter for one of the top-five local newspapers in South Korea, The Kyeongin Ilbo, where she reported several exclusive stories regarding the misconduct of local government officials. She is currently focused on issues related to anti-fraud, as well as threats and crimes in cyberspace. She is a Korean native who is fluent in English and French, and she is interested in delivering the news to a global audience.