Closing Conference of the Civil Initiative Strategic Research Centre Project, 3-4 April, Ankara, Turkey
I presented at this high level conference which included video messages from Melanne Verveer, Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women's Issues, US Department of State and Georg Kell, Execuitve Director, UN Global Compact; government, EU and UN representation from the ILO, UNDP. Past International Presidents Tuulikki Juusela and Livia Ricci made impressive presentations. BPW International collaborators from We Connect International, ITC, CXCatalysts and SPINNA presented on the Global Platform for Action on Sourcing from Women Vendors. Open space workshops provided opportunities for participants to learn how they could get involved in the tourism, health, textile and construction sectors. This project was funded by the European Union and the Government of the Turkish Republic. The key focus of the meeting's sessions were the Women's Empowerment Principles with key speakers presenting on each of the 7 principles. In addition to the past international presidents in attendance the event was supported by BPW members from Germany, USA, Australia, Taiwan with strong participation from BPW Italy.
This meeting brought together BPW Turkey, UNESCO Centre for Women and Peace in the Balkan Countries and BPW International to launch and develop cooperation for women's leadership in business in the south eastern region of Europe, namely: Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Cyprus, Greece, Montenegro and Macedonia. BPW International is partnering with the UNESCO Centre to explore the possibility of opening news clubs where we do not have existing representation. Goodwill missions are being planned for these countries. This exciting initiative is being led by Arzu Ozyol, Founding President, BPW Turkey and board member, UNESCO Centre for Women and Peace in the Balkan Countries.
It was further agreed at this meeting that Ketty Tzitzikosta, President, Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO & UNESCO Centre for Women and Peace in the Balkan Countries, will link the UNESCO Centre Network with BPW Athens in order to create a new stronger network, considering that the UNESCO Centre Network are amongst some of the most active and influential businesswomen in the Balkan region. A BPW Athens and Hellenic National Commission for UNESCO event is now being planned to take place on the 30th May, just prior to the Global Summit of Women on 31May - 2 June. BPW members attending the Global Summit are encouraged to support our BPW Athens events.
BPW Cyprus in collaboration with the European Parliament Office in Cyprus organised a most successful and well organised conference. As keynote speaker, it was an honour to address this distinguished audience and provide my opening remarks in Greek. Mr Lucas Luca, H.E. The Minister of Justice and Public Order and National Machinery for WOmen's Rights addressed the event as did Alexandra Galanou, President BPW Cyprus; Tasos Georgiou, Head of the European Parliament Office in Cyprus; Ketty Tzitzikosta, President UNESCO Hellenic National Commission and Dr Myria Vasiliadou, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Cyprus Republic. Sabine Schmelzer, Europe Regional Coordinator conducted a workshop in the afternoon session on developing members' leadership skills in BPW. The conference was attended by BPW members from Australia, Taiwan with strong participation from BPW Athens.
The newly formed BPW Bosphorus launched its inaugural international ‘‘Equal Pay Day’’ campaign with Şişli Municipality Mayor Mustafa Sarıgül in İstanbul on Tuesday. A Press Conference was organised with panelists providing comment including: Freda Miriklis, President BPW International, Arzu Ozyol, President BPW Turkey, Deniz Yeker, President BPW Bosphorus and Mustafa Sarıgül, Şişli Municipality Mayor.
Realising Inclusive and Green Growth: Business & Industry Consultation with Government and Civil Society, World Forum, The Hague, The Netherlands, 11-12 April
This important preparatory meeting leading into the RIO + 20 conference in June, was a high level business and industry consultation with government and civil society. The meeting considered collaboration for a sustainable future ahead of Heads of State and leaders from around the world that will renew their commitment to sustainable development. Key note speeches were delivered by Jozias van Aartsen, Mayor of The Hague; Ben Knapen, Minister of European Affairs and international Cooperation of the Netherlands; Sha Zukang, UN Under Secretary General for Economic and Social Affairs and other high level speakers. In considering the transition to an inclusive and green economy, i argued that women are substantive participants to shape and implement opportunities for government and business moving forward and that they must be in positions of decision making to accelerate a transition towards an inclusive green economy.