WFWPI Participates in Annual UN Session on Women’s Issues

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The Women’s Federation for World Peace International (WFWPI) welcomed 80 participants, including 31 young professionals, from 18 countries to New York City from March 10-17, 2019 for the 63rd Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63). WFWPI was pleased that Professor Yeon Ah Moon, recent former President of WFWP, International was able to meet with WFWP leaders while she was in New York.

More than 300 side events and 400 parallel events addressed the priority theme for CSW63, “Social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls,” as well as the review theme, “Women’s empowerment and the link to sustainable development (agreed conclusions of the 60th session).” Side events are hosted by governments UN entities, and parallel events are hosted by NGOs.

In addition to attending side events and parallel events, participants had an opportunity to attend major annual events organized by the United Nations Secretariat, UN Women, or NGO CSW/NY, including Consultation Day, the Opening Session, the Town Hall meeting with the UN Secretary General, and the annual Reception.

On Sunday, March 10, several WFWPI leaders and guests attended Consultation Day, which was hosted by NGO CSW/NY and held at the Tribeca-Performing Arts Center. One of the highlights of the event was a conversation between Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women and H.E. Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN and Bureau Chair of the Commission on the Status of Women. They exchanged thoughts on the challenges and goals related to the priority theme.

On the morning of Monday, March 11, Ms. Shova Gyawali, Director of Nepal Republic Media, attended the Opening Session of CSW63 representing WFWPI. In the afternoon, Honorable Christian Bolos, Provincial Legislator from Bohol Province, Philippines, attended a Ministerial Roundtable representing WFWPI.

The annual Reception hosted by NGO CSW/NY was held in the Grand Ballroom of the New Yorker Hotel on the evening of Tuesday, March 12. This elegant evening of networking, entertainment, and inspirational remarks was attended by 600 women and men, including 25 WFWPI leaders and guests.

In addition to these public events, WFWPI hosted an orientation, a parallel event, an evening for young professionals, the Horizon Summit, and two tours.

WFWPI Orientation
The  WFWPI orientation was held on Sunday, March 10 at the New Yorker Hotel. Mrs. Alexa Ward, International Vice President of WFWPI and Director of the WFWPI Office for UN Relations in New York gave the opening remarks. She encouraged the participants to connect to  many women and men for the purpose of building a network of long-term relationships based on trust. Christina Lange, Administrator for WFWPI Office for the UN Relations in New York, prepared the participants for CSW and the week’s upcoming events and activities. Guests were provided with a lovely WFWPI bag and helpful materials to equip them with information they would need throughout the week.

WFWPI’s Parallel Event - “The Family and Social Protection”
WFWPI was pleased to host a parallel event on the topic of “The Family and Social Protection” on Wednesday, March 13 at 4 West 43rd Street in midtown Manhattan. It was attended by 135 guests.

Current issues and challenges related to social protection and the family were addressed by four noteworthy speakers: Ms. Renata Kaczmarska, United Nations Focal Point on the Family; Alex Vazquez, Representative of the International Federation for Family Development to the United Nations; Ms. Shova Gyawali, Director of Nepal Republic Media; and Ms. Jeanne Carroll, UN Representative of the Women’s Federation for World Peace, International. Ms. Nicole La Hogue, Vice President of WFWP, Germany moderated the event, and each presenter offered key insights into the theme.

Evening for Young Professionals
On Thursday, March 14, WFWPI hosted a casual evening of delicious food, games, and networking for young professionals that were participating in CSW63, as well as friends and colleagues of WFWPI. WFWPI international guests look forward to this time set aside each year for the young professionals to gather and enjoy one another’s company.

Horizon Summit
The Horizon Summit is an intergenerational gathering dedicated to fostering peace leadership that was initiated four years ago as an annual component of WFWPI’s broader CSW week. The 2019 Horizon Summit, co-sponsored by WFWP, International and WFWP, USA, was held on Saturday, March 16 at 4 West 43rd Street with the theme, “Advancing The Culture of Peace.” The keynote address was given by Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, Former Under-Secretary-General and High Representative of the United Nations and Founder of The Global Movement for The Culture of Peace (GMCoP). The year 2019 is the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, and WFWPI was deeply grateful and honored to play a significant role in commemorating this anniversary. The day consisted of an awards ceremony recognizing a select group of individuals for their contribution to advancing The Culture of Peace; three rounds of speakers and discussions; activity rooms that encouraged guests to creatively express their reflections and goals based upon what they had experienced during the day; and concluded with a dinner banquet accompanied by musical entertainment and a call to action by the President of WFWP, USA and International Vice President, Angelika Selle.

Each year, WFWPI organizes tours for the international guests at the end of their CSW experience. This year, tours included visits to East Garden, the American residence of WFWP’s Founder in Irvington, NY, as well as to the FDR Presidential Library and Val-Kill Historic Site in Hyde Park, NY, to learn about the Roosevelts’ contribution to the founding of the UN.

Moving Forward
The WFWPI Office for UN Relations in New York is grateful for the opportunity to participate in CSW each year and looks forward to CSW64 in 2020.