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Speech By Minister Of State For Finance And Transport, Mrs Lim Hwee Hua At The Official Opening Of The 1000 Peacewomen Across The Globe Exhibition On Thursday, 8 March 2007, 8.10 Pm At The Singapore Management University

08 Mar 2007

His Excellency, Dr Daniel Woker, Swiss Ambassador to Singapore

Prof Leo Tan, Chairman, National Youth Achievement Award Council

Prof Tan Chin Tiong, Provost and Deputy President, Singapore Management University

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen

1. It is a great honour for me to be invited to the official opening of such a meaningful exhibition. We have all come together today to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of women in the area of peace.

2. Today, we are surrounded by the faces of possibly the most beautiful women in the world. These are women who make the world lovelier because of their unique gifts. Each of them comes from a different background - some are doctors, some are journalists, some directors and some artists. The list goes on. However, they all inspire us with their beauty, not just beauty at face-value, but beauty that comes from the heart.

3. For a woman to unveil her beauty, it means she is offering her heart. The campaign, 1000 PeaceWomen across the Globe, is possible because of 1000 women who offered their hearts for peace in 2005. These 1000 women made a collective nomination to the Nobel Peace Committee, and formed the heart of a campaign to make women's peace building work visible. These women came from over 150 countries, different sectors and diverse backgrounds.

4. Among these 1000 women are two Singaporean women whom I am pleased to congratulate today. Mrs Bridget Lew, congratulations for making a difference for peace through your service for foreign workers, refugees, tourists and migrants. You help provide them with a home away from home.

5. Dr Wong Ting Hway, congratulations for having broken the boundaries to be the first Singaporean doctor to work full-time with the International Committee of the Red Cross in 2002, and your deep devotion towards the terminally ill.

6. Both of you have touched us with your love for others. And we thank you for that.

7. As we celebrate women like Mrs Lew and Dr Wong who have made a difference for peace, it is also wonderful to note that today is a special day, which is celebrated across the world as International Women's Day. And what a fitting way it is to celebrate this day with this exhibition! Here we have a network of women promoting peace. It is a wonderful effort to help women realise their ability and potential to be whoever they wish to be.

8. Sharing the work of these women, sharing their ideas and successes will improve the lives of not just women but men as well. From this exhibition we learn of the conviction of 1000 women working towards a common goal of peace. We learn too of the dedication of 1000 women towards one common direction. These women have contributed towards the general good of the societies in which they live. Collectively, they have helped to improve the lives of many others throughout the globe.

9. Let us learn from this exhibition that women of this world have the self-assurance and passion to undertake much for the improvement of the lives of others. Women have the skills, knowledge and attitudes to develop the world. When united into a single voice, the power of women is multiplied. On this historical day, as we celebrate the achievements of women, let us also pledge to dedicate ourselves to respect and protect women's rights in all countries so that we can achieve a peaceful, prosperous and stable world.

10. On this note, it is now my pleasure to declare the 1000 PeaceWomen across the Globe Exhibition open.

Thank you.