It wasn't too long ago that our delegation was in Singapore celebrating the 75th anniversary of PPSEAWA and enjoying a very special and stimulating 22nd PPSEAWA International Conference. The theme of the conference, "Sharing a Culture of Peace" gave us guidelines - concrete plans and strategies for the achievement of a peace that will last. By the sharing of success stories, best practices and experiences as well as potential pitfalls, we were challenged to a greater passion in the pursuit of peace. With keynote speakers who gave excellent presentations and insights on their topics, the summarizing reports from the group sessions addressing the questions formulated for discussions were impressive. The ideas presented were thought-provoking but with goals that were achievable and conducive to strengthening a culture of peace. The reports will be edited and distributed when completed.
The US delegation had its PPSEAWA-USA Board meeting on May 14, 2004 in Singapore with representation from all six chapters: Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Ohio and San Francisco. The meeting was held immediately following the PPSEAWA 75th Anniversary cake-cutting ceremony and the highlight of the day's opening events. That day was the only time where country exhibits were on view. USA had brochures and information on UNIFEM as hand-outs. There were a few items for sale - post cards, note cards and transparencies, all with PPSEAWA logo and created by Ada Kolmodin of the Chicago chapter. Monies raised will be donated to the Education Fund. Thanks to Ada, too, for the beautiful stained glass panel that she made for us to present to Singapore as our host gift. Thank you very much, Ada. We appreciate your dedication to PPSEAWA .
The US delegation of 19 members and 1 non-member had its reunion on a dinner cruise where everyone enjoyed the breathtaking view of the night skyline of this energetic, vibrant and cosmopolitan city.
Another memorable event for the USA delegation was having High Tea at the Indonesia Embassy. We were invited by the Ambassador's wife, Kartini Hidayat, an active member of the New York chapter when her husband was posted at the Indonesia Mission to the United Nations. The Embassy arranged a city sightseeing tour for us as well as treating us to the Night Safari. The Night Safari is a unique zoo. Here a tram took us past softly illuminated natural environments where we can see flamingos prance, tigers prowl and hippos bathe. The animals' nocturnal doings were wondrous sights!
The 22nd Conference ended with the International Council election. Our new International President is Dr. Viopapa Annandale Atherton of Samoa. On behalf of PPSEAWA-USA we send her our warmest congratulations. Congratulations to our own USA members who were elected to the International Council. On board are Teresa Hintzke - Vice President, Ann Aurelius - Secretary, and Lillian Jasko - Treasurer. Best wishes for success!
Finally, our next International Conference will be held in Wellington, New Zealand in March 2007. We now have 23 member countries. Sri Lanka has been approved by the International Council for PPSEAWA membership. The application was initiated by Shirani Stanislaus of the Los Angeles Chapter who helped form the group in Sri Lanka. Good luck!