As a new intern with NGO CSW/NY, I was curious about the Women Ambassadors Luncheon hosted by the the organization and was enthusiastic to work with the co-chairs to organize the event. This luncheon is significant because the number of women ambassadors to the United Nations has increased, but has done so very gradually and slowly. The Women Ambassadors Luncheon recognizes these women and the importance of women representatives to the UN.
The networking aspect to the event also sparked my interest. It is not only a place where members and people passionate about women’s rights and empowerment can come together to discuss common interests and goals but also provides attendees the opportunity to network with the ambassadors as well.
To highlight the uniqueness of the Women Ambassadors Luncheon, I interviewed Padmini Murthy one of the co-chairs of the Luncheon committee. Mini Murthy and Co-Chair Denise Scotto have both organized this event in the past and are passionate about its cause.
-Devan Zingler, Intern at NGO CSW/NY
Devan Zingler: Why is the Women Ambassador’s Luncheon special?
Padmini Murthy: The Luncheon creates a platform for women ambassadors to the United Nations and members of the NGO community to interact at a social event. It also provides an opportunity for the women ambassadors to acquaint themselves with the work of the NGO community in various fields and the role they play as change makers in creating an impact to promote the various Sustainable Development Goals at the grass roots level.
DZ: What does a typical experience at the Luncheon entail?
PM: A typical experience at the luncheon depends on whether you are an organizer or an attendee. But in answer to your question, it is a social gathering and provides interaction both among members and with the ambassadors. There is usually an enjoyable cultural program such as singing or an instrumental interlude. The food is multicultural and caters to the diverse tastes and food habits of the attendees. I have organized two luncheons and one reception, and it is an amazing experience. It necessitates lots of work, but is enjoyable. It also requires teamwork so there is a nice sense of camaraderie between the women working to host such a memorable event.
DZ: Why is the Luncheon a good opportunity for new members or young people looking to become involved in the UN?
PM: It is a good opportunity for young people and new members to attend this event as it helps them to understand how NGO CSW/NY is working to strengthen the ties between the UN and the NGO community. It helps young members to find mentors among the NGO community to work on issues of common interest and is a great networking opportunity for all members. It also helps to create a sense of belonging for new members to the vibrant NGO community.
DZ: What is your favorite part of the luncheon?
PM: My favorite part of the luncheon is presenting the awards to the women ambassadors to recognize their work and commitment to the issues which matter to the global community, especially the issues surrounding women and girls and what they are doing to increase gender parity and equity in their countries and globally.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.