Thursday, March 14, 2019

The United Nations with WomenNC: Day 5

The biggest event we attended today was “Take The Hot Seat,” a youth dialogue event that aimed to bring female leaders and young delegates together to address the common minimum standards that are to be produced by the end of CSW. Moderated by two youth delegates, the panel included leaders like Ambassador Geraldine Nason, Chair of CSW, Phumzile Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, and Adriana Salvatierra, President of the Bolivian Senate. Each of the seven panelists was asked questions by the crowd of young delegates during their time in the “hot seat.” Certain points that were raised that really interested me included one regarding financing youth involvement, which was introduced by Jayathma Wickramanayake, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. Wickramanayake said the following: “Let it be expensive, it is an investment. It is my belief that if there isn’t enough space at the table, we have to make our tables bigger.”

Another discussion arose regarding women in elected office, where several leaders suggested ideas such as placing financial penalties on political parties for not having enough female nominees or eliminating age restrictions on running for office. Marta Lucía Ramírez, Vice President of Colombia, noted that the number of female politicians in her country grew following the shift of the minimum election age from 30 to 18.

“Taking The Hot Seat” was a great example of the new efforts within CSW and the United Nations to integrate the voices of youth in decision making. On Friday, myself and a few other scholars will get the chance to participate in a youth dialogue roundtable, contributing to common minimum standards that are to be signed by member states. The high value of young voices here at the UN is very empowering, and is a model that we should carry over into other institutions to achieve well-rounded, diverse perspectives.

At "Take the Hot Seat"

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