Letter to Dr. Susan Rice

(Obama's nominiee as Ambassador to the United Nations)

Re: Urgent Message From Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World
United Nations 5th World Conference on Women

DATE: Dec. 3, 2008

Dear Susan Rice,

I am delighted with President-Elect Obama’s diplomatic appointments because they bring hope that there will be a 5th UN women’s world conference, which will have an enormous effect toward implementing the Beijing Platform for Action and Security Council Resolution 1325. Until there is a critical mass of activist women to effect political will, these will remain more words than deed.

The UN Commission on the Status of Women meets from March 2 -13, 2009. The United States is one of 45 members serving four year terms (2008 -2012). This appointee needs to hit the ground running for there to be a UN world conference in 2012, which with the usual three year preparation, is as soon as one could be held. A proposal from Finland went from the CSW to ECOSOC in 2003, with further discussion tabled until 2009. ECOSOC will be meeting for four weeks in July. The United States has a seat on ECOSOC only through 2009.

The 4th UN World Conference on Women was held in Beijing 1995. 40,000 participated. The 5th WCW would be the first one held in the 21st Century in the era of the internet. It would raise consciousness, inspire and mobilize effective action through learning what has worked, and create collaborative networks that would endure after the conference. Also, a 21st Century conference could simultaneously reach anywhere and everywhere through the many technological advances since Beijing. Regional conferences and community meetings could be linked and involve huge numbers beyond those who actually attend.

My part has to do with writing Urgent Message From Mother, advocating this conference (, seeding women’s circles ( and whatever else comes to mind such as writing this to you.

With warm best wishes and blessings,

Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D,