The Humpty Dumpty Institute (HDI) hosted its 52nd U.S. Congressional Delegation to the United Nations on June 14, 2019. One Member of Congress and three professional staffers participated in a series of meetings and briefings with senior U.N. officials (see participant list below).
The delegation arrived in New York on the evening of June 13 and was hosted by HDI at a Working Dinner at the residence of HDI Board Director, Mark L. Epstein. Participants were joined by diplomats and others to discuss U.N. programs and the goal of promoting dialogue between the U.N. and the U.S. Congress. On Friday, June 14 the group started the day with a breakfast at the United States Mission to the United Nations (USUN). Acting Permanent Representative, Ambassador Jonathan Cohen, briefed the Members on USUN’s structure and mission. Ambassador Cohen also spoke about the ongoing political and refugee crises around the world in the context of the U.N. The discussion was followed by a question and answer session during which the participants raised questions on peacekeeping operations, and U.N. oversight and reform.
The day’s program continued at the United Nations Headquarters with a series of briefings. The first briefing was given by Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and focused on the U.N. Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and its mission, as well as ongoing reform process under Secretary-General António Guterres. Mr. Taranco discussed the importance of preventative diplomacy and how the United Nations deals with conflict situations in places like Venezuela.
Mr. Bader Almunayekh, Deputy Permanent Representative of Kuwait, President of the United Nations Security Council for June 2019 next joined the participants to discuss the current issues taking place at the Security Council. These included such topics as Yemen, Syria and Iran.
The day concluded with the participants proceeding to a working lunch at the U.N. Delegates’; Dining Room. HDI’s Executive Director Joseph Merante addressed the lunch guests and introduced Mr. Christopher Williams, Director of New York Office of UN-Habitat. Mr. Williams spoke about the United Nations Human Settlements Program as the world’s leading agency in promoting socially and environmentally sustainable human settlements development and the achievement of adequate shelter for all. The Honorable Paddy Torsney, the Permanent Observer of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) to the United Nations also spoke about the IPU is engaging the UN in its work. The Institute appreciates the participation of former ASG for Management and present HDI Board Member Debbie Landey during the briefings, in making her considerable insight and expertise on the UN available to the Delegation.
Rep. Jesús Garcia (D-IL)
Mike Darner, Executive Director, Congressional Progressive Caucus
Lindsay Owens, Legislative Director, and Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of Hon. Pramila Jayapal
Mike Bagby, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Hon. Mark Pocan