Events: Film screening and discussion: “A Single Step: Journeys of Women Leaders” at Asia Society & 934 Conference: “Climate Challenge: To what extent will Climate disruptions impact human health?” at the Consulate General of France in New York.
Against all logic, I decided to check two events on global affairs in one evening because both sounded too good to miss. It’s not something I’d recommend, but I couldn’t resist enjoying a glass or two of champagne and exquiste canapés at the consulate. So I divided this review in two:
Asia Society: Having received a complimentary ticket, I headed over to catch the film screening. I haven’t been to Asia Society in ages so this was a special treat. Interestingly, the event did not cover female heads of state or politicians come to that, but rather the film screen was a documentary featuring the stories of five women from different parts of the world, working on various missions tackling climate change, human rights, health and civil society. For me, the most moving of all stories was the story of a young American who went to Liberia and founded an all-girl school but who later joined the fight against the outbreak of ebola that took the lives of so many. I have to admit that I was fighting unsuccessfully to stop the tears after hearing her story.
Regarding the event, I think it could’ve been better planned, and sadly former PM Kevin Rudd couldn’t make it because of some secret reason. Shit. I wanted a picture to put on the blog.
Although the documentary was well made, the event started pretty late, and one of the speakers, a special advisory to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, Aamina Awan, further delayed the screening by speaking for over 15 minutes about why we must invest in women’s rights and children. Yes, I get the need to empower women and protect children, but did she really have to say that she was addressing the ladies of the audience. I don’t know if she noticed, but there were quite a few men present too! Okay so I’m picking at straws, but they gave each of us in the audience a DVD copy. As soon as the screening finished, I hopped in cab to my next destination.
The French Consulate is always a safe bet for me because you will meet some very distinguished people, hear intelligent conversation from experts and enjoy the trappings of champagne and hors d’œuvres in elegant surroundings. It was a miracle; however, that I reached in time given that his holiness, Pope Francis was doing his thing at Central Park across the street. Everything was barricaded and 5th Av was completely closed off. Anyway, I got there in time to hear the lecture.
The experts on the panel included: Prof. Guéladio Cissé, a health expert from Switzerland, Prof. Patrick Kinney from Columbia University and Dr. Thierry Lebel from the French Institute of Research and development.
What I really about the French is their belief high-quality hospitality. There were an impressive array of finger sandwiches with sinful pâtés, smoked salmon, jellied terrines, foie gras and cheeses. I forgot all about my cholesterol as the men in tuxes served indulgent desserts as the reception neared to an end. I tried in vain to resist gluttony but the best were the sinful dark chocolate cakes and perfectly-cripsy-on-the-outside coffee maracoons. I could have had a tray all to myself.
If you want to get a heads up for upcoming 934 Conferences, visit: the French Consulate.