A Utah Valley University (UVU) delegation, comprised of 26 members, participated at the 62nd session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW62) at the United Nations (UN) on 19-21 March 2018. This year’s CSW62 priority theme was: “Challenges and Opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls.” This was the first visit of the UVU delegation, led by Dr. Baldomero Lago, Vice-Rector for Global Engagement, under the umbrella of the new partnership established between UVU and the UN Department of Public Information in November 17, 2017. The delegation included 11 students, including members of the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF) (www.utahimf.org), a coalition of student clubs at UVU, which advocates for the gender and sustainable mountain development agendas of the UN since 2011.
UVU delegation members at the UN
One of the goals of the visit of UVU delegation was to raise awareness at the CSW62 about the lack of attention to the mountain women globally, who are among the poorest and vulnerable to such challenges as climate change and outmigration. As one of the initiatives to address it, UVU delegation presented a student engaged learning (SEL) model to advocate the implementation in the State of Utah of the sustainable development goal (SDG) #5 in interaction with mountain targets by hosting the international Women of the Mountains conferences (WOMC) since 2007. The UVU SEL model provides students an opportunity to gain experiences and professional skills as a group through hands-on activities with faculty serving them as mentors with the UIMF representing its core. Initial plans of UVU to commemorate the 10th anniversary of hosting the first WOMC in 2017 during CSW61 didn’t materialize due to the lack of time and experience. Therefore, the UVU delegation achieved that finally with one year in delay.
As a result of a yearlong marathon of preparations for CSW62, students were able to demonstrate how the SEL model works in action: they hosted both a special round table of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Ms. Marcia Barlow, a representative of the NGO for brainstorming how to advocate jointly for mountain women at the UN; they also contacted diplomatic missions accredited to the UN to identify sponsors for a side event among other things. They made also all necessary preparations for the visit by arriving to New York earlier and checking all routes and sites of CSW62.
Finally, as a highlight of their efforts, they hosted then on Monday March 19, 2018 a side event titled: “Advocating for rural and mountain women globally through student engaged learning.” The event was co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission (PM) of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the UN and the PM of Uzbekistan to the UN.
During the event, representatives of such prominent NGOs in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN as the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences (RANS), and the Utah-China Friendship Improvement Shared Hands and Development and Commerce (Utah-China F.I.S.H.&D.&C) demonstrated the examples of student engagement when they highlighted the UVU model and joint work with UIMF during the last three years to advocate for the sustainable mountain development (SMD) agenda of the UN in the State of Utah, North America and globally.
The delegation hosted also a parallel event “Education for Sustainable Development to Empower Rural and Mountain women,” co-sponsored again by RANS, the Mountain Institute and Utah-China F.I.S.H.& D.&C. The event was hosted at Church Center of the United Nations on March 20, 2018.
In addition, RANS and Utah-China F.I.S.H.& D.&C submitted a written statement for presentation at CSW62 (E/CN.6/2018/NGO/37) featuring the mountain women and UVU SEL model. It was accepted and distributed by the UN Secretariat on December 7, 2017. Students were able also to learn new knowledge and experiences of interacting with NGOs and different institutions from around the world on how to advance their goals during the CSW62 and in adopting their recommendations in the final document of that global gender – focused forum.
During the visit to CSW62, UVU delegation had meetings and discussed its activities at CSW62 at the UN Department of Public Information and liaison office of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. Delegation members were able to acquire new experiences and knowledge during the meetings with the Permanent Representative of Botswana to the UN Mr. Charles T. Mtwaagae, and the Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan to the UN, Mr. Bakhtiyor Ibragimov.
Matthew Rands, President, UIMF, Derek Garfield, Vice-President, UIMF, Dylan Genes, Vice-President, UIMF, and Yanko Dzhukev, VP and liaison with FAO-UN, UIMF
Poster about CSW62 visit results
Photos of the visit to the United Nations
UVU Marketing about UN visit
Mountain Partnership about UVU contribution to CSW62 agenda
STUDENT REPORTS ABOUT ACTIVITIES DURING CSW62
Day 0 for UIMF at CSW62: Preparations in New York
Day 1 for UIMF at CSW62: Derek Garfield – Hosting a side event
Day 2 for UIMF at CSW62: Dylan Genes-Hosting a parallel event
Day 3 for UIMF at CSW62: Matthew Rands – Student engaged learning through networking
Day 4 for UIMF at CSW62: Yanko Dzhukev – Student engaged learning beyond CSW62
STUDENT REFLECTIVE ESSAYS
Rob Smith: Great lessons of student engaged learning at the United Nations
Isak Larsen: My contribution to women advocacy at CSW62
Hannah Barlow: Advocating for rural and Tarahumara women at CSW62
Carol Bejar Orellana: The United Nations: a life-changing experience
UTAH VALLEY UNIVERSITY STUDENT DELEGATION MEMBERS
- Rob Collins Smith, President, Utah Valley University Student Association (UVUSA);
- Amelia Cope, College of Humanities and Social Sciences Senator, UVUSA;
- Matthew Rands, President, Utah International Mountain Forum, (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at UVU;
- Derek Garfield, Vice President, UIMF;
- Dylan Isaac Genes, Vice President, UIMF;
- Hannah Barlow, UVU student;
- Carol Bejar Orellana, UVU student;
- Monica English, UVU student;
- Isak Larsen, UVU student;
UVU delegation list Agenda of the visit
CSW62 side events agenda
OFFICIAL STATEMENTS DURING SIDE AND PARALLEL EVENTS
Dr. Lago Dr. Butler UIMF leadership
Rob Smith Amelia Cope Hannah Barlow
Joint Power Point Presentation
UVU CSW62 student delegation task list
CSW62 parallel events agenda
PREPARATORY ACTIVITIES FOR CSW62
UVU delegation members are ready for the UN visit
***Hosting Permanent Representative of Bosnia and Herzegovina to the United Nations, Ambassador Milos Vukasinovic at UVU
Celebrating the International Women’s Day at UVU
Workshop “How to advocate at the UN” with Marcia Barlow
Contributing to the CSW62 Zero Draft Document
Hosting Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan to the UN, Ambassador Bakhtiyor Ibragimov at UVU
UIMF and NGOs registered with ECOSOC discuss how to advocate for mountain women globally