The United Nations Blog Series – Ministerial Week

@IE University

We had the privilege of attending the 71st session, which focused predominantly on irregular and accelerated flows of migrants and refugees, as well as sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The first day I arrived at the Permanent Mission of Spain to the UN, I had already heard the term ‘Ministerial Week’. This insider expression referred to the United Nations General Assembly Ministerial Week (UNGA), held during the third week of September. The UNGA a large-scale, high-level debate in which each country’s representative declares their position on the major world issues.

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We had the privilege of attending the 71st session, which focused predominantly on irregular and accelerated flows of migrants and refugees, as well as sustainable development goals (SDGs). While this week was a new and exciting adventure, it also meant a lot of work for us and a tense working environment. The streets around the UN were closed and police were everywhere due to the high-profile attendees, including Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, François Hollande, and King Felipe VI of Spain.

Working at such a remarkable event was without a doubt a blessing. Apart from helping with African affairs during that week, I was also in charge of the agenda for the Spanish Foreign Affairs Secretary of State. When I received the assignment, I knew it would be a fascinating, yet highly intense task. My responsability was to arrange all bilateral meetings that the Spanish Secretary of State, Ignacio Ybáñez, would attend with different interested delegations. This included the delegations from Nigeria, Mali, Moldova, and Bangladesh.

While it was difficult to get a reply from the majority of the delegates, being persistent allowed Mr. Ybáñez to enjoy quite the full agenda that week. Last-minute changes complicated things, but in the end, everything went smoothly.

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The Spanish King, Felipe VI, accompanied by the Queen and Spanish Foreign affairs minister José Manuel García-Margallo

 

I am thrilled to have participated in this event on behalf of my country. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and the fact that King Felipe VI congratulated and thanked the whole Spanish Mission in person made it even more special.

If you want to hear more about the adventures of Celia, Claudia, Elena, and Marco at the United Nations, stay tuned at goingtoieu.ie.edu!

Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions with us. If you would like to learn more about this degree, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at university@ie.edu.