Dear Members, Friends and Visitors,
WFO Executive Board and Team wishes success and prosperity to all our Members.
I must admit that I have very high expectations for this year, specially because I’m reading and hearing that many Conferences, Meetings and Summits are scheduled, and very many of them are already involving Family Perspectives in theirs Programs. I congratulate Organizers, Speakers, Hosts, supporting Governments, Inter-Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations, Participants and the Media, and everyone who compromises with the Resolutions and Declarations outcoming from these Conferences, actively transforming words into realities or spreading the news of what’s happening in all levels, particularly when involving The Family and their well-being.
I also congratulate the United Nations, for the comprehensive involvement and commitment of many Departments, Sections, Agencies and Specialized Bodies, because their support is fundamental for progress and achievement of the many guidelines that all of us together established.
I think it is needless to say that the World Family Summit, held last December in China, was an enormous success. I want to thank all of those whose participation was fundamental in this great Summit:
His Excellency Minister Zhang Weiqing, Minister of National Population and Family Planning Commission of China and the Chinese Government, for his fantastic efforts and dedication in making this first World Family Summit a landmark in Conferences on Family Matters;
Her Excellency Vice-Minister Dr. Baige Zhao, Vice-Minister of National Population and Family Planning Commission of China (NPFPC); for her personal commitment towards the Summit and her formidable and unparalleled team: Dr. Hao Linna, Director General (NPFPC), Dr. Ru Xiaomei, Deputy Director-General (NPFPC), Dr. Hu Hongtao Deputy Director-General (NPFPC), and their support Staff and Volunteers; their work was the backbone of the Summit and have a great share of the Summit’s success;
Our welcoming Hosts, the Governor of the Hainan Province Mr. Wei Liucheng, who was extremely kind in accepting to host the Summit and opened all doors within his reach to support this event; the Mayor of the City of Sanya, Mr. Liu Mingqi, who was so kind to offer his city to host the Summit and gave us, all the assistance we needed; and the Vice-Mayor of the City of Sanya Mrs. Zhang Qi, a woman who proves with hard work and much determination the meaning of “women empowerment”.
The City of Sanya for the extremely beautiful Monument that was inaugurated in homage to the World Family Organization and the World Family Summit;
The United Nations System Representatives: the Secretary General Mr. Kofi Annan, for his message of support, and specially for his courage and initiative of supporting Family Perspectives; Mr. Sarbuland Khan, Under-Secretary General, for his constant support to WFO and the Summit; Mr. Guido Bertucci, Director of Division for Public Administration and Development Management/UNDESA, Dr. Hanifa Mezoui, Chief of NGO Section/UNDESA and Mrs. Najet Karaborni, Senior Interregional Adviser/OUSG/UNDESA, for their active participation, contribution, support, assistance and continuous defense of the Family as the center of development; Mr. Khalid Malik, UN Resident Coordinator in China/UNDP, for his remarkable notes in the opening of the Summit and his active participation providing concrete contribution to the Summit's work; Mrs. Siri Tellier, Resident Representative from UNFPA Beijing Office, for her extensive information on the involvement of Families and the impact of a diversity of cultures inside the Family;
Speakers, Keynote Speakers, Chairpersons, Moderators, Success Stories Presenters and Collaborators, for their participation was the light conducting our works, and their presentations showed the depth and extension of the works involving Family Perspectives, what is currently in development, what is the impact of projects, actions and measures and how they interfere in Family life. Their speeches, rich in experience and content, presented different perspectives of different Family lives, but always directed to the common objective of improving the quality of life of the Families all over the World;
Ministers, Secretaries of State, Representatives of Governments from all over the world, for their participation proved the good-will and interest of Governments of working on Family-focused policies and commitment of working towards the well-being of Families within their reach. Their participation as Speakers was a major contribution to the works of the Summit, with statistics and measures, presenting projects and experiences, and they listened attentively to the other programs which were presented and to the feedback directed to them, always seeking to improve their populations’ lives; I would specially like to thank the Government of Austria, brilliantly represented by Her Excellency Mrs. Ursula Haubner, Secretary of State for Family Affairs, for her amazing participation and her deep involvement and compromise towards the Summit and the Declaration, since the beggining of the year 2002 and her determination in implementing the resolutions discussed at the Summit;
WFO’s Executive Board, with very special thanks to our Vice President for Communication and Public Relations, Mme. Saida Agrebi, for her dedicated daily work towards the Summit, and her personal commitment of searching and reaching worldwide Organizations dealing with Family Issues, facilitating for many of them the possibility to become a participant; our Secretary General Mr. Eric de Wasch, for all the assistance, and to the other Executive Board Members, for extensively discussing and supporting this vital Summit, and taking the message back home to implement them locally, regionally, nationally;
Participants, who left their cities and countries and traveled long hours to join us, understanding and committing to this important work; their contribution was undoubtedly precious, and the continuation of our work and follow-up relies on the feedback of the participants;
The Drafting Committee, who worked with perseverance in preparing the Declaration, and the International Family, who read the Declaration, giving it a whole new meaning when showing their own diversity;
And of course, Observers and Contacts who could not be present but accompanied every moment and read, suggested, commented and committed to the Declaration, based on side documentation and reports, and from wherever they were, also compromised to our Summit in working towards family-focused public policies.
I would like to draw the attention to WFO Members as well as other Organizations who committed with us to the Sanya Declaration that now is the time to take the word into action. We have, during this first World Family Summit, established guidelines that must be implemented and adapted into the Families’ reality. Now is the time to take measures and to make changes which will effectively direct our families into a full development – considering its economical, political, social, cultural and sustainable aspect. We need motivation, and most of all, persistence to achieve our main objective in placing Family issues in definitive in the International Agenda and in the framework of development.
We must remember that we are the ones responsible for assisting, working and defending families within our reach. Action is up to us, and we must fiercely promote families policies and defend their full and comprehensive implementation. I want to remember the great words from His Excellency Minister Zhang Weiqing, Minister of National Population and Family Planning Commission of China, when he commits China, therefore 20% of the world’s population, to implementing the Sanya Declaration and to focus on families when designing and implementing public policies and programs.
Surely we, Participants representing Governments, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, International Agencies, and the Business Community, counting on the great support the United Nations has given and will continue giving us, can reach at least other 25% of the world population.
So I look forward and invite all of you into joining us in the continuation of this work and the first follow-up conference, the “World Family Summit +1”, to be held in the City of Aracaju, Sergipe State, Brazil, from December 04-07, 2005. I look forward to hearing your suggestions, comments and to receiving reports and documents, which will enhance the outcomes of our work. Very shortly information will be available online.
Our Staff at the WFO Regional Offices and Headquarters are working hard for comprehensive documentation and reports which will be complemented accordingly. We will also be publishing in our website documentation, articles and family-related essays relating what is happening in the world concerning families. Your contributions are, of course, highly appreciated and will also integrate our Online Library.
I wish you all a good time reading the Summit's reports already online as well as remembering the memorable moments in China by checking our picture gallery!