IT MAY look like a normal tea party with women laughing and sharing stories with one another over tea and delicious Malay kuih, but this group, however, is the backbone of a lesser heard non-governmental organisation.
The Pan-Pacific and South-East Asia Women’s Association of Malaysia (PPSEAWA) is the only international women’s organisation devoted to families, peace and understanding in the Pacific and South-East Asia.
The association has consultative status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, with the privilege and responsibility of making its voice heard in international decision-making.
PPSEAWA president Datuk Rahmah Abdul Hamid hosted a high-tea reception for its members in conjunction with the International Day of Peace at Kita-Kita Fine Malaysian Crafts, a retail store-cum-cafe in Bukit Damansara.
“Every year, we celebrate the annual International Day of Peace outdoors at our Peace Garden in Taman Tun Dr Ismail but because of the haze, we are hosting it indoors this time,” said Rahmah.
The association was also chosen to host an international conference themed “Respect the Environment for a Sustainable and Peaceful Future” at the Royale Chulan from Aug 22 to 31 next year.
“This is the second time we are hosting this international event.
“Malaysia hosted its first PPSEAWA conference in 1997,” she said, adding that they expected 400 to 500 participants this time.
“Indonesia especially, has shown much interest and will send about 100 delegates.
“Member countries will bring home best practices in environment from the conference,” she added.
PPSEAWA was founded in 1928, in Honolulu, Hawaii, and has 23 member countries to date.
Its Malaysian chapter was established in 1960.
For more on PPSEAWA, visit www.ppseawa.org