7 am: Early wake-up call to rise and shine! We are excited to start another day, quickly eat some cereal and to head over to the UN headquarters (and hopefully avoiding all the queues at security!).
8:30 am: The Informal NGO CSW63 Morning briefing at one of the Conference rooms. This is our chance to learn new things about the progress made with the agreed conclusions. At the same time, we can raise a point or an issue and further discuss what actions civil societies should take to start resolving them. Previous issues include limited work between civil societies and Member States, lack of structure in calling the NGOs to for an oral statement during the General Discussion of the CSW, lengthy registration of organisations with ECOSOC and recently, the denial of American visas to the participants of CSW63.
9:15 am: A morning briefing with the representatives of the UK organisations where we discuss our strategy for the day. It is a chance to exchange some information about upcoming events and interesting material learned from the previous days.
10-11:30 am: There is a choice to attend Side events (UN-based) or Parallel events (based around the UN and in NY city centre). In the morning, I usually attend a Side event where I aim to learn from experiences and public policies delivered by state representatives and organisations. On certain days, we may also catch up for a coffee with the new people we had met.
11:30-12:15 pm: Time for lunch! Our most favourite place is the Riverview café on the 4th floor. Not only the food is tasty, but it also has a wonderful view over New York. And additionally, having lunch in a common room is a fun way to connect to other CSW63 attendants by sitting at the same table and exchanging our experiences.
12:30-3:00 pm: We use this time for attending various events, some of which take place outside of the UN. Hence, it is time to grab a coffee and quickly head over to one of the locations in the centre. It is fun to run across NYC to places located uptown, or next to the crowded avenues. Most likely, you will have to pass through the Grand Central Terminal which is overwhelming, but always beautiful to pass by!
3:00-6:00 pm: It is time for the General Discussion, where we join other civil society representatives waiting to be called for an oral statement (the Conference Communiqué, the outcome of the Preparatory Conference in February!).
6:00-7:00 pm: The start of the evening meeting at the UK Mission to the UN located on the 28th floor. It is beautiful to observe how the sun goes down and hides behind skyscrapers (whilst keeping an eye on the issues discussed). This meeting is our chance to raise any points with the representatives from the Gender Equality Office (GEO), as well as to discuss the progress of the UK government in the agreed conclusions.
7:00-8:00 pm: The final meeting of the day – the evening NGO briefing - where we act upon the information gathered throughout the day and issues discussed with the GEO. It is always exciting to see our colleagues again and to further assess our progress, strategy and taking the next steps.
8:30-11:00 pm: This time can be used in different ways: we can grab a quick dinner and chat about our time at CSW, have a wee stroll on our way back from the Mission or to simply return home, depending on the occasion. I dedicate this time to compiling all the notes and sending mini-reports from the recent evening meetings to our UK group. It the best time to grab a cup of tea and catch up on all the e-mails and to carefully plan the events to attend for the next day.
11:59 pm: Finally snuggling up in bed and looking forward to getting more inspiration, attending more events and meeting new people tomorrow! Hope you enjoyed teleporting into virtual reality and seeing how our typical day at CSW63 looks like.