On Friday, May 15, 2009 the Humpty Dumpty Institute hosted a delegation of senior staffers from the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the U.S. Congressional Research Office (see participant list), (see photos on right). The delegation attended briefings on a wide range of issues including Afghanistan, Darfur, the rebuilding of United Nations Headquarters, and U.N. peacekeeping activities.
The day began with a working breakfast at which the delegation heard from the Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Alejandro Wolff (United States Mission to the United Nations). Ambassador Wolff discussed U.S. priority issues within the U.N. system and the need for the U.S. Congress to remain engaged in the multilateral arena. The breakfast was followed by a briefing at United Nations Headquarters by Hansjoerg Strohmeyer of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Cherrie-Anne Vincent and Eliza Kimball of the Department of Peace Keeping Operations next discussed U.N. operations in Dafur and Afghanistan after which the delegation was then given a special presentation by Michael Adlerstein, Executive Director of the U.N. Capital Master Plan on the $1.8 billion dollar effort to renovate the United Nations Headquarters. The morning session concluded with an in depth review of U.N. political issues by the Under-Secretary for United Nations Political Affairs, Ambassador Lynn Pascoe. Ambassador Pascoe gave a detailed overview of United Nations activities in North Korea, Iran, and Iraq.
The delegation proceeded to lunch at the U.N. Delegates Dining Room where they were given a presentation on Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s priority issues by Assistant Secretary General Robert Orr. The conversation centered on the complexities involved in the unprecedented climate change negotiations and the continued food security crisis.
John Conlon – Sen. Wicker (R-MS)
Sarah Drake – Sen. Wicker (R-MS)
Michael Manning – Sen. Risch (R-ID)
Dan Murray – Sen. Risch (R-ID)
David Salvo – Sen. Casey (D- PA)
Ann Norris – Sen. Boxer (D-CA)
Paul Foldi – Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Laura Winthrop – Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Steve Feldstein – Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Luisa Blanchfield – Congressional Research Service
Jennifer Simon – State Department
Karen Smyth – UNIC