Youth Blast ends and the Prep Comm Begins!

Youth Blast wrapped up yesterday with a bunch of productive task force meetings and planning within the Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY). It looks as though Usman will be in the committee to write the speech the MGCY gives for the opening session of the UNCSD (the real conference) on the 18th, which is great! Hopefully he’ll be able to get Universal Health Coverage in front of the heads of state.

I went to a really interesting stakeholder negotiation simulation exercise run by the World Bank yesterday. I got assigned the role of Mayor’s press secretary for a massive sewage and water infrastructure program being proposed in a city with similar challenges – limited potable water, waste water collection, low formal employment – to Rio. The facilitators, Jonathan and Lorraine, did a great job gave me a really useful takeaway: If you come into negotiations focused on your interests (what is important to you) rather than your positions (how you think you’ll get it), you can be much more productive and genuine in your negotiations. It was a great session and I’m hopeful that the World Bank will start to move more aggressively to incorporate health, especially the potential for additional positive health outcomes, into their project assessment process.

With the start of the prep comm, we’ve switched from general networking and Youth activities into our primary focus, Health. We have a health cluster meeting of the various NGOs this afternoon and Mike, fresh off of an internship at the WHO, is coordinating for them. It positions our delegation very well and I’m looking forward to meeting the other members of the health cluster. The first round of negotiations have given me a new appreciation for the diplomatic process – it took about an hour to get through the subtitle and first two sentences!



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