Dearest friends and family, it is a measure of my deep affection for all of you that I'm writing this post before I surrender to the oblivion of sleep. Being a delegate is exhausting!
UN Women was a hive of productivity today, passing 3(!) resolutions and issuing an official statement regarding the tragic, real events in Côte d'Ivoire when security forces fired on a large group of protesters, primarily women, killing 6 of them. The picture you see is of us working on our statement during an unmoderated caucus. Once it was finished I was selected by my peers to read it for the media. It was like a mini-press conference. I read the statement in front of our whole group plus a flock of journalists and 2 cameras and then answered questions for a few minutes. As a new UN body, in addition to responding to the string of incidents involving violence against women we felt it was important to put ourselves and our mission forward, making our mark as the sole UN body dedicated to gender issues. Then we got back to our other work.
We passed two resolutions re: mass rapes in Congo, one addressing immediate short term needs and the other addressing long term strategies. And in the final seconds of the day we passed a resolution re: property rights for women. Our first 3 resolutions were also approved by the Security Council but there wasn't time for them to be presented our final resolution. The day ended with a closing ceremony in which we heard from the Ambassador from the Netherlands, we all got participation certificates and I even got an award for Best Delegate of UN Women. I'm honored, of course, though I thought the delegate from Chile deserved it more. She's done a number of previous MUNs and was very well versed in the rules, procedures and language. We definitely couldn't have accomplished as much as we did without her.
Drinks and dancing, the standard way to close out any UPEACE event, finished up the evening. All the bands the UPMUNC Board got to play at our opening and closing receptions were really terrific- a great sampling of music from around the world with India, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean all represented. I wonder if the real UN ends their sessions with dancing. Maybe later I'll draft a resolution recommending it to them.
Photo taken by Joann Arawayan of the delegates from India, Chile, Haiti, Guatemala and France from left to right.