[Joy] Three of the 2012-13 United Nation Nippon fellows from tropical origins arrived in wintery New York for their second placement in the aftermath of tropical super-storm Sandy. It is great to report that all three of us arrived safely and were able to commence our placement straightaway even though over 12000 flights were cancelled, and vast areas of Manhattan were flooded and without electricity – even trading on the famous Wall Street stopped for a while! Watching agitated drivers in vehicles queuing up during the fuel shortage admittedly sprang up images of a possible future when carbon is severely depleted.
Cecilia (Brazil), Mmadi (Comoros) and I (Fiji) have since our arrival been welcomed warmly by the staff at the Division of Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS). Dr François Bailet shared his vision for the alumni to each of us individually affirming the potential for our network to work harder and better. Afterall, we all share the common goal to serve our nations and regions. I am also impressed by the legacy left behind by previous United Nations fellows who have made this experience richer for us. Hopefully we will be able to keep up with all the responsibilities and expectations that come with being a UN Nippon Fellow just like those before us!
There are a number of exciting events at the headquarters this year which include the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, General Assembly 67th Session informal consultations related to sustainable fisheries, Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) negotiations, climate change and sustainable development meetings to name a few. This year, we will also be able to attend the United Nations Nippon Fellows Alumni meeting during our placement. On that note, I look forward to meeting more of you in the Big Apple in a few weeks time! It will not be long before the Manhattan returns to its former glory, no doubt.