There are so many people here that we exceed the capacity of the meeting spaces in the UN temporary meeting building, so you can get into the actual UN meetings only with a secondary pass–since each NGO gets only one, we are taking turns going to those. The main theme is Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science, and technology, including … women’s access to full employment and decent work.: But there are literally hundreds of “side events” sponsored by NGOs…I counted 30 in an average day; running from 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night. They are held in nearby buildings, or–not so nearby. Too many choices! I’ll tell you about some of those in a later blog.
The thing that most of us “older” types are excited about is the creation of a new UN entity, UN WOMEN. In July 2010, the UN General Assembly created this as its official entity for gender equality and the empowerment of women. I told you that Michele Bachelet of Chile is its first Executive Director, with the rank of Under Secretary General, so she’ll have the power she needs to work with all the UN entities on issues involving women. She’s charged with helping member states implement UN standards, and working with NGOs to accomplish the goals…and she “is to hold the UN system accountalbe to its own committments on gender equality, including regular monitoring…” Let’s keep her in prayer as she faces this enormous job!