The Conference, to be held on November 18-22, will be attended by government ministers and senior officials, members of parliament, supreme court justices, high-ranking officials from the UN and from many international and regional organizations, and professional women representing civil society and academia.
The Conference will open officially at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem on November 18th, in the presence of the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzipi Livni.
The theme of the Conference is Women's Leadership for Sustainable Development. Participants will discuss programs from the gender perspective, and will also visit the Weizmann Institute and Tefen Industrial Park.
The women leaders will be received by the President of the State of Israel, the Chairman for the Knesset Committee for the Advancement of Women, the Chairwoman of the Council of Women's Organizations, the Mayor of Haifa, and the Mayor of Kiryat Yam.
The Conference will signal the start of events marking 50 years of international cooperation activities of the Foreign Ministry's Center for International Cooperation - MASHAV - which was established at the end of 1957, initially as a small unit for international assistance. The visit to Africa that year by Golda Meir, who was then the Foreign Minister of Israel, gave significant impetus to the unit and transformed it into Israel's international development cooperation program, responsible for designing and implementing training and institutional capacity building programs in a variety of subject matter, in more than 130 countries around the world.
Israel's Center for International Cooperation, known by its Hebrew acronym MASHAV, was founded in 1958 as part of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is responsible for initiating and implementing Israeli's development cooperation program worldwide. MASHAV aims at transferring the expertise and technologies, which have assisted Israel on its own path to development, to other countries.
Today, Israel cooperates with over 140 countries, providing training in Israel and abroad, operating on-site demonstration projects and building medical infrastructure in partner countries. MASHAV is active in fields ranging from agriculture to medicine and from community development to entrepreneurship.
The Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center (MCTC) was founded in 1961 by MASHAV as the first international training institute to deal with women and development. The Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Center devotes its biennial international conferences to topics declared by the United Nations and its specialized agencies as of current international concern. Previous conferences were devoted to The Impact of Women's Training on Socio-Economic Development (2001), Women's Voice in Conflict Resolution and Peace-Building (2003), and Migration and Gender Issues within the Millennium Development Goals (2005).