A blog by Pat Black, SI Statements Advisor and Caroline Mulligan, SI Advocacy Manager
“St Patrick’s Day is approaching fast in New York. It is celebrated here with even greater enthusiasm than in Ireland! On 14 March, the NGO briefing was led by the Republic of Ireland Chair of CSW, Ambassador Geraldine Nason Byrne, who proclaimed her Irishness as frequently as she could, but demonstrated that she is an international woman by switching between French, English and Irish Gaelic during the course of a half hour conversation.
Ambassador Geraldine is a strong champion of women’s rights and of peace, and is determined that this CSW will reach agreed conclusions which can be implemented effectively at grassroots level. Her encouragement to civil society was tangible – as she said: “SDGs cannot achieve implementation without you”. Her missionary zeal then turned to persuading us to attend the Republic of Ireland events, one which would be held later in the day, as well as wearing green on Thursday 15 March when the Irish Mission at the UN will be having its own celebration.
SI Advocacy Manager Caroline Mulligan blagged a personal invitation to that celebration!”
“The queues were enormous to enter the side event “Enabling grassroots and indigenous women’s participation in gender-responsive climate action”, hosted by the Permanent Mission of Ireland and the Mary Robinson Foundation. An interactive event, with representatives from the indigenous women in Fiji, women from a Massai tribe, the African Union, the Government of Fiji, and the World Bank, leading to a fruitful and meaningful discussion.
The Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice, is a centre for thought leadership, education and advocacy, on the struggle to secure global justice for those people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, who are usually forgotten – the poor, the disempowered and the marginalised across the world. Mary Robinson was the first female President of Ireland from 1997 to 2002, going on to become the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations. Growing up in Ireland, Mary was a personal hero for me and so many others, and widely regarded as a transformative figure in Irish politics, so to have the opportunity to meet with her and join in an interactive dialogue on climate action was fantastic!
The event focused on the importance of involving the local community to solve local issues. The renewable energy industry is a relatively new industry, however it is already making many mistakes; destructing a village to build a wind farm, without the prior consultation of the local community. Their voices and expertise must be heard. Too often resources from the World Bank do not make it the ground, this disconnect needs to be solved”.