Monday, February 25, 2008

NGO-CSW Consultation Day

Sunshine!!! Lots and lots of sunshine!
As we headed down to the NYU Medical School at 8am to register the sun made New York look particularly glorious as the buildings gleamed.

We join the line - another line - to have our NGO registration confirmed.

The morning started with an address by Vivien Pender – Chair of NGO CSW - she welcomed us to the day of orientation for Financing for Success and Security. This was followed by HE Ambassador Olivier Belle – Chairperson Bureau of the Commission on the Status of Women. He told us that CSW is now attracting a lot of people – several thousand NGOs - with some groups sending more than 30 people.

CSW will touch on subsidiary themes as well as the main theme, with the work plan being
1. Theme for the next session
2009 Shared Responsibility between men and women – care for AIDS
Fundamental for women in society

2. Violence against Women
Secretary-General will open with a campaign
Will try to concentrate on concrete indicators

3. Women and Climate Change
Top priority and an emerging issue in the UN
Bali conference had been a good result but is not the end of the work which needs doing
Emerging issue is the relationship between women and climate change
Women are better placed to tackle the changes

And finally a review of the Priority Theme from 2004 which was Women’s Participation in Conflict Prevention and Conflict Resolution.

Ms. Carolyn Hannan, Director of the Division for the Advancement of Women addressed the conference. The CSW has a long tradition of working with NGOs around the world. She highlighted that the CSW was the most important forum on gender equality – what happens here will make a difference around the world and be implemented in many countries. NGOs have always been active in the work of the UN.

Mrs. Rachel Mayanja, Assistant Secretary General, and Special Adviser to the UN-Secretary General on Gender Equality and the Advancement of Women then talked about gender equality in the work of the UN through gender mainstreaming.

She talked about it being focused on the women’s perspective through 4 entities in the UN, how every piece of future work must look at how the system makes a difference to women, and how progress for women is progress for all.


Taking in a large amount of information in a packed lecture hall made the team somewhat desperate for refreshment, so leaving our glorious leader Chairman at her post (and minding the coats!) we stepped down the Hall to find some more buckets of coffee and Granola bars to sustain us.

We returned to listen to an excellent address by Professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak – a University Professor from Columbia. A challenging and engaging Indian lady who was not adverse to blunt speech to get her point across, and some amusing tales about translators and Kant the Philosopher - we'll leave the rest of that to your imagination!!! She left us with this thought. 'First, forget the word HELP'

Tomorrow CSW starts in earnest with opening speeches at 10am. We have a master plan of which break out groups and parallel meetings we will each attend and will each report back.


greyfloozy said...

OK Girls - Now the serious bit has begun
The HATS ... umm could be interesting methinks
Yes I'm busy here - surprising the phone and email statistics are considerably lower - I wonder why?
Keep up the good work - I'm posting the RC's to follow you progress.

Shazia said...

Great to see you girls in NY! Many of the themes you have mentioned are ones which the CWO has covered eg violence against women, climate change and women's role in conflict resolution - just goes to show CWO has its finger on the pulse! Well done!
Look forward to hearing how the rest of the trip goes...

Mat Burt said...

You know, mum, all this progressive thinking and discussion of critical topics in NYC you're engaging in makes my own life look rather unfulfilling; the most recent highlight was making a bucket of heart-threateningly cheesy macaroni for a crowd of eager Oscar-watchers.
Please cease and desist.