by Anne Hilty, BPW International Congress Coordinator
Spring, glorious spring, has come to Jeju Island, bringing with it a reminder: the 28th BPW International Congress will be held on Jeju just one year from now!
BPW Korea Federation, in its Host Planning Committee, is busy preparing to host the Congress: International Convention Center Jeju will be our beautiful seaside venue, Hyatt Jeju our HQ Hotel (many other hotel options as well), the Congress website will be launched on May 25, and Registration will open on September 1! We have selected Congress Ambassadors from every region, who in May will begin representing the Congress and promoting members’ attendance.
The International Planning committee is now preparing the program, and have invited UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, UN Women’s anticipated new Executive Director (in the wake of Michelle Bachelet’s departure), UN Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell, and UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, with many more high-level invitations going out shortly. As always, representatives of our partner organizations are expected to join us, to include, in addition to those above, World Bank, International Organisation of Employers, International Trade Centre, WEConnect, Commonwealth Business Women, and more.
President Freda will return to Jeju at the end of next month, as a keynote speaker of the Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity, a noted annual event with 3000+ in attendance. Her session, which will lead the 3-day Forum, is entitled, “21st Century: ‘Asian Century’, ‘Women’s Century’: Achieving Full Economic Potential Through Gender Equality;” H.E. LU Hsiu-lien (Annette), former vice president of Taiwan and BPW Goodwill Ambassador, will join this session as President Freda’s dialogue partner. President Freda’s itinerary during this Forum is filled with exciting events, and we will regularly update the Congress website about each of them!
Jeju … Island of Women, with its famed “Strong Jeju Women,” “Asian Amazons,” rich goddess mythology, 18th century heroine Kim Mandeok (first female ‘CEO’ in Korea, and life-saving philanthropist) and the free-diving women known as “hae-nyeo;”
Jeju … Island of Nature, the only place in the world to receive UNESCO recognition in all 3 Natural Science Categories: Biosphere, World Natural Heritage, and Global Geoparks … and, chosen one of the world’s “New 7 Wonders of Nature;”
Jeju … Island of Peace, with a history of hardship and trauma, and a dedication to healing and to discovering peaceful solutions to the world’s conflicts;
Jeju … Island of Longevity, known for more than 2000 years for its remarkably long-lived people, where elders continue to work, contribute, remain independent, and retain a sense of purpose well into their advanced years;
Jeju … Island of Eco-Culture, where cutting-edge smart grid technology, renewable energy, waste management, and carbon-free practices are being researched and implemented in balance with the preservation of nature and traditional culture – where people and nature harmoniously co-exist;
Jeju … Island of Love, long the honeymoon destination for mainland Koreans, now sought after by lovers – of romance, of nature, of healing and well-being, of women’s culture, of prosperity – from around the world.