Airport at 6:45am this morning. After a brief flight, we
landed at LaGuardiaAirport in Queens, New York City, NY.
Shortly after, we arrived at our homebase for the
duration of the week, the Hampton Inn.
We first dropped off our bags and pursued the lobby before
making the short two block walk to the U.N. Grounds
Pass Offices. We were pleased to be met with
a small line due to our early arrival.
With professional photos taken, passes printed,
we headed across the street to the
United Nations Headquarters.
Headquarters opened up to a beautiful courtyard.
The courtyard was featured a few select thematic
monuments.Walking among the courtyard was one
of my favorite parts of the day; as I thought
the artwork spoke to many of the issues that
the U.N. fights against silently and eloquently.
My favorite was Non-Violence. Non-violence is a
bronze sculpture by Swedish artist
Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd of an oversized
Colt Python.357 Magnum revolver with
a knotted barrel and the muzzle pointing upwards.
Reuterswärd made this sculpture after singer-songwriter
and peace activist John Lennon was murdered.
Since 1993, the sculpture has been the
symbol of The Non-Violence Project, a nonprofit
organization that promotes social change through
violence-prevention education programs.
I was particularly struck by the sculptural hashtags placed
around the building (#UNGA, SDGLive)as well as the exhibits
on the creation and architectural breakdown of the Headquarters.
I ran across a meeting being held in the conference room right
off the lobby. It was held in a room that looked vaguely like
a smaller version of the General Assembly.Although, I
wasn’t able to enter and sit in the observation deck,
I was extremely moved by the demographic makeup
of the people in the room.I haven’t seen a room with that
diverse of a population in a very long time.
In the same vein, I saw that the daily tours are given
in over 10 different languages. It was truly inspiring to see
such inclusion at the forefront of any venue.
I also enjoyed a case study exhibit on a young Egyptian girl
in the main hall. It touched on the topic of female genital
mutilation, which is a former research focus on mine.
We concluded our first trip to headquarters by visiting
the gift shop and information desk for additional pamphlets.
for a busy week! We got lunch at a wonderful little diner
less than a block from Headquarters, John’s Coffee Shop.
I then outlined my schedule for the rest of the week,
had a light dinner andstocked up on snacks from the
corner store. Our nightly meeting was extremely informative.
It focused on targeting our presentations towards
CEDAW, what to expect in the upcoming week,
and reviewing our selected CSW sessions.
I am more than ecstatic for
what the rest of the week holds!