Delegation members have lunch at the Grand Central
Members of the Utah International Mountain Forum (UIMF), a coalition of student clubs at Utah Valley University, travelled to New York City to advocate for mountain women to be included in the final document of the 63rd Session of the United Nations (UN) Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63). This annual Commission is held under the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and aims to address the issues, challenges, and successes of women globally. Women around the world face challenges to achieve all 17 goals of sustainable development, but women who live in remote mountain areas have been largely ignored, while they face harsher conditions than many other women. The UIMF has advocated for these women for over a decade and on March 19th, 2019 at 8:30am in the Church Center of the United Nations, they will hold a parallel event titled “Student Engaged Learning to Empower Mountain Women and Girls,” about UVU’s student engaged learning model, sustainable mountain development (using Utah as a model) and advocating for the inclusion of language about women living in mountain areas in the CSW63 final document, which makes recommendations for ECOSOC and the UN General Assembly for further action on international cooperation to bring equality to women globally.
Students began arriving in New York on Wednesday, March 13th with the rest arriving between Friday, March 15 and early morning on Sunday, Mach 17. Those who arrived before Sunday, while waiting for the rest of the delegation to arrive spent time sight-seeing and visiting family and friends. Those who arrived on Sunday morning then met with faculty mentor Dr. Abdrisaev at his hotel, located several blocks from the UN and left their luggage at his room to be free of it before the check-in-time for their Airbnb. It gave them substantial time for a walk to discover New York City. They first went to Café Olympia, located couple of blocks from the United Nations compound, for breakfast. Then from there, they walked two blocks to see the place where the UN ID office is located. It will be important for the delegation to arrive there earlier before its opening in order to be the first in line to get their passes to the UN compound and to participate at the CSW63 activities. Then they went to the UN Church Center for the United Nations across the UN headquarters, which is the place that they will host their parallel event. Later they walked near the entrance of the UN headquarters as well as Trump towers. At this point everyone went in different directions to discover the city as they wish and meet again at 12PM.
UIMF member at the entrance to the UN IDs office
They met up with the rest of the delegation at Grand Central Station as previously scheduled at 12:00pm to travel as a group for an orientation tour over the sites related to our official activities at CSW63 and which our small group was able to make by ourselves earlier. The Grand Central Station was selected as a starting point because this is one of the main closest to the UN headquarters transportation hubs in New York to gather all members of the delegation who got accommodated elsewhere. We started a tour by having a lunch at the Grand Central Station. Then we walked towards the UN through a Lexington avenue entrance and we went through all those sites what we had in the morning because all the students were there. Then, the tour was over and students had the opportunity to travel around New York to sight-see.
Delegation members at the entrance to the UN compound
It provided us the opportunity to walk around different famous places and take many photos. At the same time, we all agreed to meet on Monday morning at 8:30 AM to get our UN passes and follow our approved agenda which will require in addition to hosting a parallel event on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 to attend several side and parallel events and visit Permanent Mission of several countries accredited to the United Nations. some panels at the UN. Overall, we are very excited to for being here in New York and full of energy to attend the events tomorrow.
William Gum and Abdulrahman Alghanmi, UIMF members