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Reflections on CSW68* (From a UN Newbie)

May 25, 2024 12:34 PM | Bill Magargal (Administrator)

by Karen Morian, Peace Secretary

I felt an intense pride at seeing the large numbers of (mostly) women activists who attended, and a renewed energy being among them. I came away with an increased respect and appreciation for all the efforts of those who came before me. So much amazing work has been done at the international level of which I was unaware even though I consider myself a well-travelled activist. The ongoing work of the UN delegates and agencies is awe-inspiring. The energy of the younger attendees continues to be a force which drives progress forward.

As the Peace Secretary for US Servas, I am working to bring more awareness to US Servas members of the work the UN does daily, especially their agencies on the ground. And to the possibilities for Servas to engage more in international peacebuilding, social justice, and climate action efforts. We are planning a national (in-person/online hybrid) event for the UN International Day of Peace which will highlight some of this work and the possibilities to participate.

For our contribution to this international movement, I propose that Servas become the housing network for these international activists. In doing so, we will support folks doing good work who are (of course) working with limited budgets (the US Servas Board has endorsed this idea).

I was astounded to learn that some of the folks in the first Rainbow Caucus meeting had never been in a predominantly queer space before. We forget how much work there is still to do on LGBTQIA rights and protections around the world.

I networked every day at CSW68 to increase the visibility of Servas, and now have a lot of contacts with whom to follow up. For instance, I joined the Council of Organizations (of US-UN NGOs) and will represent Servas there.  

The work done by Servas presentation coordinators was extraordinary. I felt well-informed and connected throughout CSW68. We are, generally, independent travelers, which creates opportunities for many perspectives. For next year, I’ve suggested we hold our meet-up in a closed space which will be quieter and provide more opportunities for small group conversations. I’ve also suggested that there be a SERVAS sign on the door. Additionally, I’ve suggested that we have one parallel, in person event to better network with those on the ground. The possibilities to increase our presence at the next CSWs are unlimited.

*The 68th Conference on the Status of Women


  • June 14, 2024 5:17 PM | Anonymous member
    Thank you for all the work you are putting into this, Karen. Please continue to keep us informed! Patti
    Link  •  Reply

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