* 2008 Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the WUCWO
2008 Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the World Union of Catholic Women’s Organizations (WUCWO) was held under the theme of “Women, Peace Makers –United in Faith and Action,” at the International Seoul Youth Hostel in central Seoul, from October 26 to 31, 2008. The Conference was jointly organized by the WUCWO Asia/Pacific Region (Vice-President: Theresa Oh Duck-choo), the Catholic Women’s Federation of Korea, and the Catholic Women’s Organization of Seoul Archdiocese.
About 150 female Catholic leaders from 13 Asia/Pacific Region member countries attended the Conference and tried to find some useful ways for today’s Catholic women to promote the world peace and protect human rights of women.
The opening ceremony was held at the Myeong-dong Cathedral of Seoul, following a Mass led by H.E. Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Jinsuk, Archbishop of Seoul. The Most Rev. Osvaldo Padilla, Apostolic Nuncio in Korea, conveyed a congratulatory message from the Pope Benedict XVI to the participants. Welcome addresses were also delivered by the Most Rev. Andrew Yeom Soo-jung, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul; the Most Rev. Lee Sun-jong, Head of Won-Buddhism of Seoul; and Dr. Helen Kwon Kyeong-soo, President of the Catholic Women’s Federation of Korea. The Most Rev. Peter Kang U-il, Bishop of Jeju, delivered a keynote speech titled "New Challenge for Dignity of Women and Peace."
Through this conference with plenary sessions, panel talks, and workshops, the participants made the following resolutions: to be actively involved in the legislative processes to build the culture of life and to urge an intergovernmental efforts for the protection of the rights of migrant workers; to raise consciousness of both men and women regarding gender equality and to promote women’s rights to take the leading role in planning to reduce poverty among women; to encourage women to participate in peace accords or talks; to take part in activities to protect lives and environment and to put an end to war; to support to make families including migrant families healthy.
At the Closing Ceremony on October 30, there was a presentation of seed money for ‘Project Women 2009’. The project aims at helping women to fight off poverty in the Asia/Pacific region through the fund raised by the Catholic Women’s Organization of Seoul Archdiocese. The Conference officially concluded with the Closing Mass presided over by the Most Rev. Basil Cho Kyu-man, Auxiliary Bishop of Seoul.