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"In a world marked by unacceptable health inequalities, we will emphasize those programs that benefit the poorest and most vulnerable communities." (Richard Waddington|Waddington 7-21-03)
The South Korean government officially announced the establishment of the a Memorial Prize in Dr. Lee's memory. After his death, You Si min, the Minister of Health and Welfare of the Republic of Korea, officially revealed the plans concerning the new awards and urged other nations and persons concerned to participate at a meeting of WHO in 2007. Mr.Lee Sung-joo, who is permanent representative of the Republic of Korea, spoke of the award in Dr. Lee's memory to motivate and inspire young leaders aspiring to be the next Dr. Lee Jong-wook.
Starting in 2009, the awards would be given for mainly the two fields "Young Leadership" and "Contributor of health management" (especially for epidemics) at the annual assembly of World Health Organization which takes place in May each year.