UN Geneva – day 2

Regional Implementation Meetings (RIM) are held in all 5 UN regions as preparation for the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-18). This RIM for Europe and North America was the last one, following those held for Africa, Western Asia, South Asia & Pacific, and Latin America & Caribbean. It was attended by approximately 100 people, including many reps of civil society.

I finally met up with Alexandra from Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) and Olga (Eco-Accord) and was very pleased since they really are experts in Chemicals, Waste, and Mining. Good, because I’ve never liked chemistry!

I was sitting with Lesha (Nederlandse vrouwenraad = Dutch Women Council and our advisor to the Women Major Group), Alexandra and Olga, looking at the chair of the meeting and thinking ‘ I know that man. Where do I know him from?’ Finally figured out that it was Marco whom I knew from my time in Mali with the German Development Service (DED).  Very funny to realise that we both started at the same organisation and 15 years later I’m at the UN as a volunteer and Marco is a highly paid director of the UNECE Environment, Housing & Land Management Division. Anyway, we had a really nice chat afterwards.

Today’s keynote talks, followed by discussions (interventions by governments and NGOs), dealt with Transport, Chemicals, and Waste management. We (as women major group) made several interventions on all topics, highlighting specific aspects affecting women. We weren’t able to give our 1st intervention because the session ran out of time. However, the advantage of this was that the co-chairs felt bad about this and from then on gave us (Dutch Women Council, BIC, WECF, and Eco-Accord) speaking time every (!) time we asked for it in the 2 days.  We definitely had most speaking time as a major group since the other major groups did not organise themselves that well.

During lunch time we also attended a training workshop on capcaity building for civil society. Basically, sharing of lots of useful background information on the role of major groups during CSD and how we can support each other (from sharing expertise to drafting joint interventions). Very useful.

I missed the first 15 min of the session after lunch because I went outside to take photos. You’ll have to wait until I get home before I can upload them – I forgot my camera cable. The extreme lack of sockets to recharge laptops was a continuous issue in the hall (showing how old the building is, I suppose) and the owners of working adaptors became valuable friends! Amazing what kind of relationships you can built while borrowing adaptors….

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