Things happen so fast here, I can’t keep up! We’re in the first day of a two-week meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women…but before we get into that, I’ll just summarize the event of the past two weeks, the Commission on Social Development (CSocD). As I think I told you, the overarching theme was the Eradication of Poverty, which is the very first of the Millenium Development Goals. Because, as someone said, “Poverty means the absence of human rights, the rights so basic to all the other Millenium Goals.” Poverty has many faces and underlying causes, but this year the focus point was poverty as it affects the family, youth, and aged and disabled persons. Since everything is connected, the topics discussed also included trafficking, immigration, education, climate change, finances, food, water…to name a few!

Each of the UN commissions operate on two-year work cycles: the first year is the study/ review year, and the second year is when policy is actually set. This year was the study year for the CSocD, so the member states listened, studied position papers, had visiting experts and special “rapporteurs” in to speak. The Commission ended with recommendations on each of the target areas, which will be sent to the Secretary General for action by the executive group. Eventually the material that is approved will end up as part of the Secretary General’s report, and items will be voted on in the policy year. Whew! layers on layers of bureaucracy, like a torte.

And even though we were finishing the CSocD and getting ready for the CSW, last week we had a briefing (and they are NOT “brief!”) on the Commission on Sustainable Development, to be held in May. But I think you’ve had enough for now! And I have some fun things I haven’t even told you about, yet…(you don’t think we are working all WEEKEND, do you?)
Put me in your prayers for Wednesday; I am going to speak for UNANIMA in response to a panel during the CSW…