Monday, August 9, 2010
Ardith Toogood – CFUW CIR
It’s hard to believe that this is the last official day of the 30th IFUW Triennial Conference! Of course, there will be the 91st Council Meeting tomorrow for the new Board and the CIRs, not to mention side trips booked in advance – or at the last minute down at the tour office in the lower lobby of the hotel – by delegates.
This morning there was a most interesting and productive final Plenary Session where members shared ideas on “Building a Sustainable IFUW: Meeting Members’ Needs and Expectations.” After the Tea Break there were advocacy and membership workshops available and one on CEDAW and UPR that was very useful. CFUW wrote the environmental section on the Canadian NGO (non-governmental organizations) Shadow Report to the Government’s Report on CEDAW. We also submitted a CFUW Statement before Canada’s last Human Rights UPR (Universal Periodic Review) which took place in February 2009.
After lunch, Business Session 4 – the final session – took place. The 31st Triennial Conference will take place in Istanbul, Turkey in 2013. Save your pennies!
While the business session took place, I was presenting a position paper on “Maternal Health and Foreign Aid” at a Parallel Session on Women’s Reproductive Health. My paper will be available on our website after I return home. At the same time, there was a Parallel Session on VGIF.
The Conference officially closed with the introduction of the new Board and the Standing Committees. There were many photos, much applause and congratulations all round.
It seemed as though everyone stayed for the Gala Dinner in the evening – 250 full-time and 100 partial registrants. We all put on our best outfits and were transported by buses to the Vizcainas School – an historical edifice several centuries old. After speeches, we were treated to a concert by the Mexican Chamber Orchestra playing selections of classical music in the soaring cathedral of the school. The soprano soloist at the end of the concert was brought back for several encores.
An exquisitely prepared dinner was served at colourful round tables in the large courtyard. Brenda and I had the pleasure of sitting with Mexican delegates, two indigenous Mexican sisters and two Japanese delegates. What a grand finale to the 30th Triennial Conference!