1st Day CSD-17

What a day! My commute from 103rd street in North Manhattan to the UN takes about 40 minutes of wich 15 is spent walking the last bit. It doesn’t even get close to the rush hour crush in the London underground, so I don’t complain!

I arrived early (8.20am) and it was still dead quiet, kind of strange. I started the day with joining the NGO Major Group briefing at 9 am, followed by the Women Major Group (WMG) briefing at 10 am.  It was great to meet Sabina (one of the main organisers of the WMG) again and sitting next to her with a laptop, of course, resulted in me becoming scribe of this group. Why am I not amazed? The good thing is I get all contact details of the people attending this briefing.

Because of the timing of this briefing, we missed the official opening. This is the UN after all, one always could be in at least 3 places at once! Sabina and I only spent about 20 minutes in the main opening session before disappearing again to write a 1-minute statement from the group (to be read that afternoon by Sabina). Even though we had given the other participants a strict deadline of  noon for input (giving them 1.5 hour), none arrived, so we pulled a statement together based on the priorities of the WMG. I then insisted on a quick lunch in the UN canteen (strong self interest here!) and then we went to a side event on Agriculture, Land & Women (Sabina was one of the speakers). I admit, I didn’t really listen carefully. Nothing to do with the 4 speakers (!), but my brain didn’t take their talks in and  with wireless access throughout the UN building I checked my emails. And yes (no surprise there) I found late comments from the WMG (emailed nearly an hour after our deadline!). So, I spent some time seeing if we could add these thoughts into our afternoon statement.

I then dashed off again to the next event in Climate Ethics, organised by the BIC and Penn State University. Three hours of good talks on the ethical side of climate change. I was immensely grateful for the case studies which we did in small groups (it kept me very awake). Each group looked at different countries (Seychelles, Haiti, Niger, Alaska, Fiji, and Bangladesh). A list of very good questions guided our discussions (such as who has the right to be protected and whose duty is it to protect?) and it became very clear how immensely complicated,  but essential thinking about these issues is.  I’d like to do these kind of workshops back home, so I’ll think about doing one at our cluster school in the summer.

And finally we had our BIC briefing with nice food and good discussions about our focus and role at CSD.

Not sure what day 2 will bring – I know my morning schedule but everything else is open.

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3 Responses

  1. Thank you for posting all of these wonderful reflections. (Arrived here via Barney’s post.) If you have time, could you go into some more detail about these workshops? What did you learn from them, and why were they useful?

    Okay, will continue reading with rapt attention!

  2. Hi Lev,
    Will try to do this later, am trying to catch up on sleep & blogging. Thanks for reading & commenting. When you use the word workshop, do you mena the main session in which they discuss teh negotiation text or all the other side events happening outside the main session?

  3. Thank you, Ineke. The previous comment referred specifically to the BIC/Penn State discussions. What kind of information did you learn about a given country? What did you learn from participants’ responses to the ethical questions? I read a general write-up in SDIN’s Outreach Issues, but it left me curious for some greater level of detail.

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