United Nations 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67)

I had the privilege of being a delegate at the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) at the United Nations headquarters in New York, from March 6th-17th.

Delegates lounge at UN Headquarters


Politics and history were not only topics I learned in school but a part of the culture and way of seeing life growing up. At home, we would talk and reference history as a part of understanding our family’s history and experiences, as well as speculating what the future may hold. There was almost no need to rely on formal education to understand geography and foreign politics. Learning how to communicate with those of different cultures became a natural instinct.

Business like politics requires strong unity (team) and communication, along with a shared set of values (or commands) in order to succeed or carry out a mission. Already having verbal fluency in a second language other than my native English. It was only after college that I gained a deeper interest in foreign politics. I had read books from Zbigniew Brzezinski to Henry Kissinger on leadership, communication, and international relations throughout the years.

My education and career were focused on business and finance. I believe we cannot talk about international relations without economics. As communication and strategic tactics are needed in the business world, so goes the same in foreign affairs.

All of this came to an accumulation with my experience at the United Nations.

UN Security Council

It was an honor connecting with fellow delegates, ambassadors, and distinguished professionals from around the world. All come from unique cultures, religions, and values. Each event at CSW addressed the challenges as well as opportunities on behalf of their country or organization and gave room for negotiation and questions during the sessions. While staying focused on the topic themes of innovation, technology, and education in the digital age. In order to achieve gender equality and empowerment for women and girls. (priority theme)

CSW Session on Ukraine


Among the twelve side events I attended organized by Permanent Missions and UN entities, were moderated by the UAE General Women’s Union, The League of Arab States, UN Women, the EU Parliament, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), UNICEF, USAID, UNESCO, WHO, and more.

H.E. Dr. Haifa Abu Ghazaleh, Ambassador of the League of Arab States. Former Senator to the Jordanian Upper House of Parliament

I was honored to attend a session on the League of Arab States with its feature on the UAE. The side event discussed the developing job sectors in STEM for not only women and girls, but each individual regardless of status in the region. It addressed its development agenda for the Arab region by 2030 and its alliances with the SDGs.

The side event featured panelists from UN Women working on behalf of the Arab region, government employees, and ambassadors from various Arab states such as Jordan, Bahrain, and Egypt. I sat in the front seat amongst journalists and state officials from Lebanon, Jordan, and Kuwait, many of which are women, as well as men.

I learned how technology and its development in MENA are helping to create jobs and aid in general social advancements. I was pleased to see how much the Middle East has made progress in many areas. Not only economically and by infrastructure, but domestically. Where cultural barriers and social norms are being broken. Roles that were considered by a sole gender are being shared amongst women and men.

Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President & CEO, Women’s World Banking
I met Mary Ellen, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking. Whose organization and mission is to help women and girls, especially in the developing worlds, gain access to financial services. It’s important to see investment being put toward impact and funds which tackle at least two of the SDGs.
UN, Arab League advisors and Ambassador to Romania at the Consulate of Romania New York

Attending CSW as an American representative has given me a unique perspective of how far we have come, and how much further we need to go in advocating change for gender-inclusive policies and economic advancements on a global level. Our influence as Americans to help facilitate that change, and also a reminder of the human rights we have been fortunate of having in our country in comparison to the world.

Especially coming from the financial services sector, and understanding how the finance industry can make its impact. Not only on women and girls but on everyone at large. I think with continued advocacy, education, and technological advancement. We are on the path to progress.

Midtown PM

New York City

The UN works for the world and its headquarters sits strategically in a city that works around the clock. I always enjoy the diversity of New York, its fast pace lifestyle, and the rich opportunities it holds.

United Nations

A unity of distinguished minds and humble stories.

Each individual I had the opportunity of meeting during CSW. From delegates to state officials and business people were not only well educated and successful in their own right, but humble. Regardless of their status, behind every well-tailored business suit, lies a story of personal pain and triumph, many of which were open to sharing. I was inspired by each person’s story, the impact they wanted to make, or their “cause”.

The human condition is complex and unique to each individual. We all have a story. I believe being present and down to earth is what it means to be a leader and in order for change to occur.

Final takeaway

In the business world: revenue, forecasting, and KPIs are typically used to benchmark success. In international affairs: it’s people, and how united they are towards a common cause through peace, and just as in business, you must unite and identify your team (allies). As stated in Matthew 12:30, “He that is not with me is against me”.

Regardless of our current conditions in the world. I am optimistic about what the future will hold for humanity as change is being made on many levels through several channels.

Thank you, United Nations Association of the United States of America for this opportunity. #USAforUN