Day 0 at CSD-18

And mymyy, did it start complicated yesterday. Our final briefing with Chantal Line and Tonya of the UN Secretariat for CSD-18 included the handing out to each of the Major Groups of 3 different colours of secondary passes….for use on Monday only……! This ritual will happen every day at 6pm when we get the secondary passes for the next day. So, now I’ve got 7 secondary passes for the opening session on Monday morning. Of these 7 passes, 2 are for the seats with the microphone (those 2 are relatively easy – if you get one of these you need to be willing to read a statement on behalf of the Women’s Major Group or answer questions). But how to allocate those 5 other passes? And a similar set of passes exists for the afternoon session.

That’ll be my challenge as chair of Monday’s morning briefing where we’ll need to decide, as a group, on an allocation system. The lucky youth have a structure that is based on regions, and guess what? They are divided in 5 regions, so their solution was easy (one/region). Unfortunately we aren’t structured like that, although I think it’s worth suggestion it to the women. Anyway, that’s Monday’s challenge.

Now these secondary passes are my main anxiety at the moment because the opening session starts at 10am, but our own morning briefing starts at 10am as well. So, basically, as a group we haven’t yet met before we need to use these passes…. I really hope that at the NGO briefing (which happens at 9am), I can find some willing women!

The meeting with the chair (Minister of Guatemala) and vice chairs of the CSD Secretariat was followed by picking up my UN badge, and attending the NGO orientation training. The latter was attended by approximately 50 people, mainly from faith organisations, it seemed. Our own BIC briefing ended the day. We focused on our role as BIC delegate (ultimately we’re here on behalf of the Universal House of justice), some delegate etiquette, read some of the Ridvan 2010 message and some of the BIC statement on Rethinking Prosperity. We’ll study the latter more, but everybody was too tired last night.

This morning (Monday) it’s pouring down, so I feel sorry for all those participants who’ll have to queue up (outside) to get their UN pass. Glad I was able to pick mine up yesterday.

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