Goodbye Bali, hello Busan!

Nusa Dua, 13 August 2009 - Busan,  South  Korea’s second  largest city, will be the next host for the 10th International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacifc. With  the  theme  Different Voices-United Action,  the  10th ICAAP will  strive  to bring  together people of various backgrounds  in  the  region  to unite their  action  against  HIV  and AIDS, as Dr. Min-Ki Kim of the 10th  ICAAP  Local Organizing Committee said on Wednesday at the Media Center.
Busan, located on the south-easternmost  tip of  the Korean Peninsula, is the country’s largest  port  and  has  a population of about 3.6 million. The most densely  built  up  areas  of  the city are situated in a number of narrow  valleys  between  Nakdong and Suyeong rivers, with mountains  separating  some of the districts. It has a humid subtropical climate. The  natural  environment  is a perfect example of harmony between mountains, rivers and sea, with  superb beaches,  scenic  cliffs  and  mountains  that provide  excellent  hiking  and extraordinary views.

“We  have  a  similar  natural atmosphere  as  Bali,  with  six beaches, with good  infrastructure  and  facilities,”  said  Yun-Sun Kwon  of  the  Busan  Convention Visitors Bureau. Busan  also  offers  temples, hot  springs  and  shopping  areas. In terms of costs, Busan is not  as  expensive  as Seoul  and has relatively cheaper hotel accommodations.

The  Korean  government has said it will provide the best services and visa arrangements for  ICAAP delegates and  treat them like Olympic athletes. One  concern  raised  was whether the 10th ICAAP would attract  delegates  from  the  Pacifc  Islands.  As  ASAP  President Myung-Hwan  Cho  mentioned, the 9th ICAAP has been the most successful congress in terms of  the number of Pacific Islands delegates, and he hopes that Korea will  be  able  to attract just as many.

Amelia Makutu  of  UNAIDS Pacifc,  who  was  present  at the media  conference,  complimented  the  9th  ICAAP  organizers for their efforts in attracting more than 50 Pacifc Islands delegates to the congress, giving much more visibility to the Pacifc Islands compared to previous congresses.

Bisan’s Gimhae International  Airport  offers  464  weekly fight  services  from  25  countries,  including  China,  Japan, the  Philippines,  Singapore, Thailand  and  Vietnam.  There are  domestic  fights  from Incheon  and  Kimpo  international airports in Seoul. Trains run from Seoul to Busan every day  and  take  only  two  hours and 40 minutes.

Busan  was  the  host  city  of the  2002  Asian  Games,  2005 APEC and one of the host cities of the 2002 FIFA World Cup. So  we  will  continue  to   empower people and strengthen networks by celebrating different voices in a united action in two years’ time. Let’s meet in Busan!


As reported by Danny I Yatim, the 9th ICAAP Post
The complete 9th ICAAP Post can be downloaded from the Virtual Media Centre section in this website

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9 - 13 August 2009
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