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22nd Congressional Staff Delegation to United Nations Headquarters
22nd Congressional Staff Delegation to United Nations Headquarters
22nd Congressional Staff Delegation to United Nations Headquarters 22nd Congressional Staff Delegation to United Nations Headquarters
22nd Congressional Staff Delegation to United Nations Headquarters  

October 8 - 9, 2007

Climate Change and Food Security

On Tuesday, October 9, 2007, the Humpty Dumpty Institute, with support of the United Nations Foundation, organized a series briefings for Congressional Staff at the United Nations. The delegation, comprised of senior Congressional and Senatorial advisors, attended briefings on the theme of Climate Change and Food Security. The trip encouraged information sharing between the U.N. organizations and Congress, and informed participants on the dramatic effect climate change can have on developing countries. In addition, the speakers briefed the group on the role their organizations played in combating global warming.

Executive Summary

On Tuesday, October 9, 2007, the Humpty Dumpty Institute, with support of the United Nations Foundation, organized a series briefings for Congressional Staff at the United Nations. The delegation, comprised of senior Congressional and Senatorial advisors, attended briefings on the theme of Climate Change and Food Security. The trip encouraged information sharing between the U.N. organizations and Congress, and informed participants on the dramatic effect climate change can have on developing countries. In addition, the speakers briefed the group on the role their organizations played in combating global warming.

The morning began at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, where the participants met with members of the Mission. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad gave a well received overview of U.S. policy priorities at the United Nations.

Discussing the role of the World Food Program, Deborah Saidy, Director of the New York Liaison office of WFP, emphasized the organization's efforts to diminish the effects of natural disasters. The WFP has supported reforestation, land rehabilitation and restoring the vegetating cover of Ethiopia in a reaction to the extreme conditions in the region.

Robert Patterson, Senior Liaison Officer of the Food and Agricultural Organization, introduced The Growing Connection, a grassroots project that connects youths in America and developing countries while fostering a passion for agriculture. The presentation proved particularly interesting to the guests because of its potential in school districts within their constituencies. (www.thegrowingconnection.org)

Ambassador Dawit Yohannes from Ethiopia continued by briefing participants on the effects of climate change in his home country. In particular, farmers try to combat the results of global warming by planting trees though it does not always provide the desired results.

The final briefing was held with Juanita Castaño, Director of the United Nations Environmental Program. She updated the guests on the role of UNEP in setting environmental guidelines that were to be followed by other groups seeking to foster development in emerging nations.

Schedule

Monday October 8
4 pm - Depart DC

5 pm - Arrive in New York/ Transit to Hotel
Location: U.N. Millennium Plaza Hotel, 1 United Nations Plaza

6:30 - 8:30 pm
Working Dinner/ Reception with U.N. Officials
Location: Divine Bar, 244 East 51st Street

Tuesday October 9
8 - 9 am
Working Breakfast at the U.S. Mission to the U.N.
Location: 140 East 45th Street

9:30 - 10:30 am
Briefing by Deborah Saidy, Director, WFP
Location: U.N. Conference Room 9

10:45 - 11:45 am
Briefing by Robert Patterson, Senior Liaison Officer, FAO
Location: U.N. Conference Room 9

12 - 12:45 pm
Briefing by Ambassador Dawit Yohannes, Ethiopia and Ambassador Somduth Soborun, Mauritius
Location: U.N. Conference Room 9

1 - 2 pm
Working Lunch with Juanita Castaño, Director, UNEP
Location: U.N. Delegates Dining Room

2 pm
Return to Hotel/ Depart for Airport

4 pm
Delta Shuttle back to Washington DC

Participants:

Bill Harper - Chief of Staff, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN04)
Peter Frosch - Senior Legislative Assistant, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN04)
Michael Hare - Legislative Assistant, Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA07)
Jeff Lowenstein - Legislative Assistant, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA29)
Jonathan Davidson - Chief of Staff, Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD03)
Andria Hoffman - Legislative Assistant, Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL10)
Roberta Downing - Legislative Assistant, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
Jennifer Van der Heide Escobar - Chief of Staff, Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA15)
Brian Bonlender - Chief of Staff, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA01)
Luisa Blanchfield - Foreign Policy Analyst, CRS
Shelly Stoneman - Legislative Director, Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ09)
Christos Tsentas - Legislative Assistant, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA09)
Ms. Melody Hamoud - Legislative Assistant, Congressman James L. Oberstar
Mr. Coby Dolan - Senior Policy Advisor, Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz
Ms. Brooke Bennett - Counsel, Committee on Oversight and Governmental Reform

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