Patty Liston of Reach the Children gave a wonderful presentation on the Stay Alive program in a side event today at the United Nations CSW.
The information was well received and many African woman approached her later to ask how they can get this wonderful educational program in their villages. United Families International is also a part of Stay Alive.
This side event was a breath of fresh air after attending an event on LBT rights (Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender) and a caucus with a US Delegate Marge Christie. Marge discussed how the US has not ratified many treaties such as CRC, CEDAW, etc. And that they will not bring them up to congress until they know for sure they will have the votes. She admitted that the New York Delegates are behind all the NGO’s at the UN. That is not a comforting confession. This week the NGO’s have been put in the most discouraging situations. After waiting in line for 9 hours to receive our NGO badge and then being told that we are not allowed into the negotiations with the badge we spent the day getting, it starts to smell a little funny. The next day we waited in another line to get the new badge only to find out after the 2 hour wait that they will not activate this badge until two weeks later. (After CSW is over) Are they doing this on purpose or is it all coincidence? There is more.
This particular US Delegate Caucus with Marge that I referred to was called at the last minute. Only a handful of women knew it was happening. I heard another woman talk about it and so I took off to find the meeting. The officials in the building we were directed to said there was no US meeting in the building. I was determined to make this event, so I began looking in other possible places. I went through security at the UN for the 4th time and down the long corridors to find out that the meeting in fact was held back at the first building. I bolted back and found the meeting room. Once inside I was told there that only those who signed the role that was going around the room would be allowed into the US Delegation Briefing on Thursday (which is a big time meeting). Thankfully I signed my name only to find out later that the time for this “generally open to the public meeting” is not for sure. It is very vague and the more questions I asked the more confused I became. Could they tell that I was a pro-family advocate from my face? I felt like I had a big UFI sign hanging on my forehead. So the New York Mission is in charge of the NGO’s at the UN. Hmmm.
More insight. Hillary Clinton has been a power house behind the scenes at the UN for many years and lost some power when George Bush became President. But Hillary is back and heading the US Delegation this year. From her own admission, Hillary said, “…it makes me nostalgic for conferences that are held that actually produce results and give us framework for moving forward”. I think we are seeing things moving again, but from my experience at CSW I am concerned about the direction it is moving.