Dear colleagues and friends of Conchita,

It is with great sadness that I am writing to you with the news of the passing of Conchita last Friday morning. I’ve only just heard the news today.

We’ve all been amazed by Conchita’s unwavering commitment to her principles and vision for the empowerment and dignity of all women-  while enduring such a tremendous suffering over the recent months. I often thought when I saw her continued determination throughout her illness- and genuine concern that no opportunity be lost, “could I do that?”.  I do not know, but seeing her courage has touched me deeply.

So many have been enriched by her knowledge and so impressed and encouraged by her life- and this will live on.  I can say that I really love her and many share that sentiment with me.   She has been a great mentor, model and partner, as she always closed her letters “yours in solidarity”. Her vigilant presence will be greatly missed at the United Nations and many, many other circles and I would propose that we could honor her memory in some meaningful way and continue to build upon her good work.

Conchita’s son Albert, has sent a mail, which some of you may have already seen, but which I am copying here.

Our family, Conchita’s sons, grandchildren and daughters-in-law are deeply saddened to inform you that Conchita Jimenez-Poncini has left us today, Friday May 13th 2011, after a long struggle against cancer. She fought this sickness with courage and dignity. She left peacefully this morning, her family beside her. We will miss her love, kindness and generosity. Our world is now very different without her.

Her funeral will be held at the Catholic Church of Troinex, Geneva, on Wednesday May 18th, 2011 at 14h30.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
– Albert & Julie, Alexandra, Sebastien, Louise
– Richard & Laurence, Mélanie


Very sincerely,

Carolyn Handschin