Thursday, August 5, 2010
Ardith Toogood – CFUW CIR
The first official day of the 30th IFUW Triennial Conference is here! More CFUW members have arrived: Lisa Chenier of Vancouver, Rhea Pretsell of Belleville, Joanne Craig of Montreal and Muriel Smith of Winnipeg whose plane landed in the wee hours of the morning.
We had our first 8:00 am CFUW caucus meeting in the lounge outside the breakfast restaurant, Cafe Miro, sharing information, making announcements and thinking about our votes for the elections.
The IFUW Opening Ceremony featured Dr. Patricia Galeana, FEMU Founding President who welcomed us to Mexico and the 30th IFUW Triennial; Minister Olga Sanchez Cordero of the Mexican Supreme Court; keynote speaker Kyung-wha Kang, United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights; a deputy for Dr. Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and Louise Croot, IFUW President.
The speeches by Minister Sanchez and UN Deputy High Commissioner Kang
were outstanding and will be made available to us for posting. Minister Sanchez had to leave immediately following her address for an important vote on gay rights at the Supreme Court.
We were entertained by a superb a cappella sextet, Mexicalia Chorale, before the cake for the 90th IFUW anniversary celebration was brought in by the waiters. I have a wonderful photo of a crowd of photographers, the press and members crowding around to witness the cutting of the cake.
After the tea break we heard the speeches of all the candidates for CFUW Board positions including our own CFUW member, Phyllis Scott.
Some of the CFUW delegates attended the IFUW Fellowships Program lunch and the rest of us the Bina Roy Partners in Development Program (BRPID) lunch. In the coming Triennium, donors to the BRPID will be able to specify the project they wish to support.
Then the voting delegates had a short caucus meeting before casting our votes for IFUW President and Vice Presidents for 2010 – 2013.
Back we went to Business Session 2 for the financial report and acclamation of Catherine Bell as IFUW Treasurer, introduction of the candidates for IFUW Standing Committees and the announcement of the next IFUW President: Marianne Haselgrave of the British Federation.
We look forward to working with Marianne and congratulate her on her new position. We also congratulate Phyllis Scott who tied on the first ballot and narrowly missed the second. We are very proud of you, Phyllis, and look forward to tapping into your knowledge and expertise on IFUW and international issues.
After the Tea Break I was pleased to be one of several presenters on national projects at the first Plenary Session. My presentation on “The Collaborative Work of CFUW” will be available on the website after I return to Canada.
Then as CIR I cast the CFUW votes for the Standing Committees, grabbed a sandwich and then dashed off to the Open Session on Resolutions.
What a productive meeting!
Our adviser from the IFUW Resolutions Committee, Rae Duff from New Zealand, who had been very helpful to CFUW via email over the last few months, was with us as we heard and gratefully accepted amendments from those who came to discuss, in particular, our Climate Change proposed resolution. Cynthia Burek who has expertise in this area, told us that the final amended resolution looks very good. This session lasted from 7:30 – 9:00 pm.
Brenda and I were thirsty by that time and headed down to mellow out in the bar with Ruth Suderman and Sandy Millen who told us that a MAS card, available at the front desk, would save us 50% on breakfasts! Ah, the things you learn from the wise women of IFUW! Time for bed!