Showing posts with label UN. Show all posts
Showing posts with label UN. Show all posts

WW: Reminiscing of the Past - United Nations Headquarters New York City

"No Violence" sculpture welcoming you to the UN Headquarters in NYC

Hi everyone.

The High Level Week of United Nations General Assembly for its 76th session has started. And some of the world's attention are directed to the Big Apple, where the UN Headquarters is located. This year, the meetings were conducted in hybrid way, a combination of online platform, pre-recorded messages and physical presence at the UN General Assembly Hall. More than 100 head of states and/or governments have confirmed their presence in this august body, together with smaller entourage obviously. For sure, strict health protocol is fully observed at all times. 

The view of Long Island City seen from the UNHQ building

Like last year, I didn't travel to New York City to attend the meetings as we have many restrictions due to the pandemic. Nevertheless, we continue to provide support from Jakarta and I have to admit, I do miss visiting the UNHQ in these crazy days.

There are times when we were constantly moving around and being mobile, exploring different corners of the UN and preparing meetings or anything that popped out. It was extremely exhausting but rewarding at the same time. I made so many friends, learnt tremendous amount of substantive issues and beneficial skills, particularly in negotiation and communication, and had the time of my life here.

So, now, I would like to rekindle my memories and share some of the snaps I took during the many sessions of UN General Assembly that I have attended so far, starting from 2014 - 2019.

Most of the photos I have here were taken during the special High Level Week session of the UN GA, where New York City, particularly the area around the UN and Midtown Manhattan, temporarily turns into a circus. It all was caused by the high-level security arrangement the US and the UN have in order to welcome and ensure the safety and the well-being of many prominent world leaders, including POTUS himself.

Some of the following pictures were taken from the UN Security Council, particularly when Indonesia was the President of the Security Council in May 2019. I was privileged to be part of the team here.

Then let me take you to the Indonesian Lounge in the UNHQ. Not many country's name was dubbed as the name of the lounge or the room in this building so I am super proud to take you here. Interested to know why it is named after my country? I wrote the story about Indonesian Lounge at the UN HQ here: Indonesian Lounge at the UN Headquarters.

And of course, the amazing art works and installations you can find around the area, be it inside or outside of the UNHQ building. The clear blue sky, the calming East River and astonishing city line are my favorite as well. Well, enjoy!

Join us on (almost) Wordless Wednesday and have fun with the link party.

Indonesia's s Presidency for United Nations Security Council - Open Debate on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflicts

New York City was summery that day.
After having my shaum at 3 AM in the morning, we were getting ready for the D-Day.
Yes, Thursday, May 23rd, Indonesia was once again chairing the Open Debate at the UN Security Council. 
I put on one of my favorite batik outer from Sekar Kedaton.
It was red, white and blue.
How perfect as it reflects the colors of Indonesian flags,- red and white,- and blue representing the United Nations. What a coincidence!
Then we did the final check on draft statements, Chair's notes, possible scenarios, draft summaries and reports, and media materials.
All checked and done!
9 AM we were heading to the UN Headquarters and made the final preparation in the meeting room.
Then 9.50 AM, the Ministed for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, H.E. Mrs. Retno Marsudi, and the UN Secretary-General, H.E. Mr. Antonio Gutteres joined us in the meeting room.
After a few courtesy talks and photo sessions, including with Ambassadors of Russia, Poland, and South Africa who were wearing their beautiful batik shirts and stolla, we all were ready to start.
Let the meeting begin..

Indonesia, the UN Security Council President for May 2019

Here's the first note on Indonesia's s Presidency at United Nations Security Council for the month of May 2019.

As I have mentioned in my previous post before and shared it at WW: Indonesia's Presidency for United Nations Security Council, Indonesia is continuing its presidency through Open Debate on Protection of Civilians during armed conflict. the debate was taken place in May 23rd, 2019, in UN Headquarters in New York City. Beside that, we have series of side event and other meetings as well during this month, including consultation on Middle East issue.

United Nations Security Council
Some of NYC and Jakarta team for this Open Debate

This Open Debate was an integrated part of main events under the Council Presidency of Indonesia in May 2019 with a particular theme of “Investing in Peace”. As you can see, we had our signature event on Peacekeeping in the beginning of May. We also had photo exhibition on Investing in Peace during our signature event.

The meeting was also convened to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council seizing the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict as an item on its agenda and the 70th anniversary of the 1949 Geneva Conventions on international humanitarian law. It is indeed on of the important issues being discussed in the august Hall.

After the meeting..

The Open Debate was chaired by Minister Marsudi as the President of the Council in May 2019 and attended by around [80 UN member countries]. Among the prominent briefers are the UN Secretary-General who presented the annual report on PoC. President of ICRC, Peter Maurer, as well as CIVIC’s Executive Director, Federico Borello.

before the meeting..

The Report of the Secretary-General has identified numerous achievements during the last 20 years. Nevertheless, a lot of challenges in the protection of civilians recently are quite daunting. Numbers of civilian casualties from numerous conflicts in many corners of the world are steadily increasing. This is obviously a bleak picture for all of us.

In that context, Minister Marsudi urged international community to intensify their efforts in protecting civilians. “[We] must identify ways and means to make further progress in saving life. …We should focus on the people”, explained Minister Marsudi further.

Batik beautifully worn by my Minister and Ambassadors. Left to right: Permanent Representatives  of Indonesia, Poland, Indonesian Foreign Minister, and the Permanent Representatives of Russian Federation and South Africa.

This Open Debate reaffirms Indonesia’s support to strengthen international partnership in advancing the promotion of human rights, in particular civilians in armed conflict. Indonesia has been contributed through its active role in various international forum and technical assistance to various countries in the promotion of good governance issue.

During her speech in national capacity,  Minister Marsudi stressed the importance of community empowerment as the key element to strengthen national capacity in protecting civilians. It is important as members of the community are the first to  Participation from local community in the design and implementation of the civilians protection programs is needed to ensure that the tailor-made programs meet the needs of the affected communities.

In conclusions, the issue of protection of civilians in armed conflict is multidimensional in nature. In this regard, Minister Marsudi strongly suggested what further actions to take in countering those challenges. First, the need to strengthen national capacity of the State concerned. Second, the importance of ensuring effective implementation and compliance. And third, the importance of affirming women’s role and contribution as the agent of peace and security.

Again I was indeed very privileged  to be part of the team for the preparation and the conduct of this Open Debate. And may we all live in a better and more peaceful world. Amen.

International Day of Yoga

It's a bit late but Happy International Day of Yoga.

Every 21st of June, we are celebrating the International Day of Yoga, including in the United Nations Headquarters.
Since 2015, we celebrated that day by having a gathering at the UNHQ and had same brief sessions of Yoga with big audiences.
It grows from year to year and now we are celebrating it in the North Lawn of the UNHQ, which provide enough space for everyone and amazing vista of the East River.

Some of them are practicing..

The word “yoga” is derived from the ancient Sanskrit language and it means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of our body and consciousness.
Our body and soul.

Although Yoga originated in India, its usefulness has been recognized the world over.
Us, Indonesians  and many across the globe have long been fascinated by Yoga.

On its fourth celebration at the UN, with many fold increased participation, is a reflection of its powerful appeal. Many yogis as well as yoga's enthusiasts were coming and joining us that day, including ambassadors.

I was honored to be trusted as the Master of the Ceremony that day.
I loved it!

It was a day packed with great yoga sessions, as we enjoyed Yoga by 8 students from India, led by Yoga Expert Nisha Pushpavana, followed by Yoga on Mallakhamb led by Mr. Chinmay Patankar. 

Then the session continues with Yoga by 5 Yoga Gurus organized by Bhakti Centre here in NYC, led by Kevin Tobar and his associates,  Missy Kabinoff, Alexandra Moga, Lauren Baptiste, and Zachary Jackson. We also enjoyed some enchanting songs by members of Shri Chimney Centre here in NYC. 

Not to forget some remarks by Dignitaries, including Ambassador Syed Akbarsddin, the Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, as well as Dr. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.

It was really a great and healthy day.

Namaste :)

Do you like Yoga as well?
Where do you usually practice? at home or in a special place?

Happy International Day of Yoga

Cloudy Wintery Day

After series of double digit subzero days, finally NYC gets slightly warmer days.
Well, we call 32 - 40 degree Fahrenheit, or 0 to 4 degree Celsius warm now after being hit by minus 20 C and colder.
It's obviously a new standard for us, Indonesians, who are so accustomed to tropical weather!

Anyway, as the temperature gets warmer, we have cloudy days.
And this Friday, I just went out to the UN Rose Garden before having an early meeting.

The rose garden was obviously missing all those colorful roses already as winter is coming
But the whole UN 'backyard' remains my favorite place.
The sky sure was cloudy but I loved the breeze.
This is something I can enjoy.

the gift from Russian, if I'm not mistaken

typical wintery scene :)

How's the weather in your knack of the wood?

Join us on Skywatch Friday and enjoy the magnificent sky wherever you are.

Wonderful Wednesday with Oh My Heartsie Girls

Another busy, yet entertaining week for all of us!
I have previously mentioned that my family will celebrate birthdays and anniversary along the weeks in December, right! After Nadine's birthday on Dec. 8, we celebrated my husband's birthday and our 13th wedding anniversary on Dec. 12 :). Later on, Bo, my son, will celebrate his 11th birth on Dec 18. So you can see a lot of cakes, cards, presents and hugs here. Plus some traveling and weekend gateway :).

Lovely weekend at Philadelphia

But unfortunately, the work at the UN is also at its pea :(.
Back-to-back meetings are still going strong and we are trying to wrap things up.
Wish us luck.

Chrysler Building seen from the UN Delegates Dining Room 

This week we enjoyed the screening of Kartini, the great movie by Hanung Bramantyo, about Indonesian famous feminist who fought for the emancipation of our women, back in her time in the 18th century in the old Indonesian setting. It was a  fantastic movie with such great talents, story and cinematography.

Great time watching Kartini

Then we headed to Philadelphia as well last week!
Strolling around the Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Reading Terminal Market, and a brief stop at the Amish Village. Surely I have so much to tell and so many photos to share!

the Independence Hall during the snow day..
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