On 30 May to 1 June, the delegation of YWCA Korea participated in the 66’th UN DPI/NGO Conference held in Gyeongju, Korea. Along with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, approximately over 2,500 academics, field experts and NGO professionals from different regions of the world gathered in Gyeongju to discuss the theme of “Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together”.
It was the first time YWCA Korea participated and the organisation hosted a workshop on “Strengthening the Solidarity and Effort of Women in Peace Building Process on Korean Peninsula: WOMENCROSSDMZ” with the World YWCA on 31 May. The goal of YWCA workshop was to raise awareness of the peace-building efforts of the Korean peninsula by women around the world, and to elaborate on how these movements are critical to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Ann Wright, Retired U.S. Army Colonel and former U.S. Diplomat who is also the Steering Committee member of WOMENCROSSDMZ, spoke on the topic of “Women and Militarism” to strongly urge that women and all peace advocates must challenge the governments to stop the use of war as an implement of conflict resolution. 17-year-old Yeji Lee, who is a Chairperson of the Y-teen association of YWCA Korea, addressed the unresolved “Comfort Women” dispute between Japan and Korea and questioned the current “agreement” between the governments, which does not take into account the opinions of the victims. The Y-teens also hosted a YWCA booth during the UN DPI/NGO Conference to advocate the resolution of the issue. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the booth and showed his concern by signing the “100 Million Signatures Campaign for the Resolution of the Japanese Military “Comfort Women”.