It’s Up To You, New York

From the moment I sat in the taxi that took me from the airport into the city, I knew that I would love New York. The skyscrapers, the views, the busy streets… every time I walk down 42nd Street to get from the subway station to the UN Headquarters, coffee in hand, earphones plugged in (“…New York, New York…”),
I feel like I walked out of my life right into the set of “The Devil Wears Prada”. And just like Anne Hathaway networked her way from one designer to the other, taking notes and buying coffee, scarves, and skirts to please Miranda, I work my way through the CSW. My VIPs might not be Karl Lagerfeld, and thankfully Shannon (WYA UN Advocacy Specialist) is no Miranda- however I can truthfully say that my work here is movie-like, though also quite challenging.
But who doesn’t like a good challenge?

The theme of this years Commission on Status of Women is “The equal sharing of responsibilities between women and men, including care-giving in the context of HIV/AIDS.”
More than 5,000 individuals representing nearly 500 NGOs, representatives from the Commission’s forty-five member nations and delegates from UN member states showed up to participate. That of course means only one thing for us: networking and “taking over the caucuses” as Shannon so nicely put it.
A caucus, like for example the European Caucus, is a meeting in which representatives from different NGOs amend the proposed outcome document of the Commission; the goal is to have a united civil society voice for a given region, such as Europe.
The contributions from the meeting are integrated into a European Caucus version of the outcome document and it is submitted to the different country representatives. The objective is to have some of the ideas proposed by a country in the closed negotiations of the final draft. WYA has worked hard to integrate its ideas into many caucus documents so that it’s proposed changes have a high level of exposure; we will only know this week if a country will actually propose our changes. I must say I love it- meeting and talking to these people from all over the world, debating over ideas and ideals, and even discussing such mundane things as the weather – and you can laugh if I take Frank by his words, but it surely feels that way right now: “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere, It’s up to you, New York”

Elisabeth Gudenus – Austria