Sundeep Bhutoria

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

In New York City once again

In New York City
June 9, 2017, New York City: I took Emirates flight EK573 from Kolkata to Dubai on June 4 en route to the United States. The flight provided for wifi services which is very helpful to keep oneself updated while on flight. 
I reached New York City (NYC) on June 5 from Dubai.
I am in New York to attend a World Federation of United Nations Association (WFUNA) session. 
This time I checked in at the Staybridges Hotel – an all-suite hotel of with a different type of service.
With WFUNA colleagues
It was nice to catch up with some of my WFUNA colleagues on June 6, 2017, informally before the scheduled meetings. 
With Mr Syed Akbaruddin, IFS, India's Permanent Representative to the UN
I also took time to meet Mr Syed Akbaruddin, IFS, India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. Mr Akbaruddin is of the 1985 IAS batch and has wide diplomatic experience with a series of prestigious overseas postings and is considered to be an expert on West Asia.
With Mr Tanmaya Lal, Deputy Permanent Representative of India to the UN Permanent Mission of India
I also met ambassador Mr Tanmaya Lal who is the Deputy Permament Representative of India to UN Permanent Mission of India in New York. Ambassador Lal has worked on multilateral aspects of India’s engagement as the Head of the UN Economic and Social (UNES) division at the headquarters and earlier at the Indian Missions in Vienna, Nairobi and Bangkok.
With Dr Rajiv Mehta at Rahi restaurant, New York
On June 7 it rained in New York City marking the advent of the monsoons. I did visit parts of the city while it was raining. I went to 60 Greenwich Avenue in New York where a three-week old Indian restaurant Rahi is located. It is a modern Indian eatery and bar the offers cocktails and cuisines from different parts of India. I was surprised to find our very own mishti doi and khichdi was a part of the menu.
With Ms Riva Ganguly Das
Rahi promises traditional Indian dishes made from local produce. The ambiance is stylish with murals and paintings. This Indian restaurant in a joint project of chef Chintan Pandya, and restaurateur, Roni Mazumdar.
On June 8, I met Ms Riva Ganguly Das, Consulate General of India in New York. The Consulate Building, located on 3 East 64th Street (between 5th and Madison Avenue) is a part of the Upper East Side Historic District of New York. It was bought by the Government of India in 1950 and came to be known as New India House. This office serves residents of ten states of USA.
I also met with WFUNA Secretary General, Bonian Gulmohammadi, at the Chaiwali Harlem restaurant on 274 Lenox Avenue, Manhattan, New York. 
With Bonian Gulmuhammadi at Chaiwali Harlem restaurant in New York
The restaurant, run by owner-chef Anita Trehan, claims to offer Indian breakfast and brunch. The menu, which offers vegetarian, vegan and non-vegetarian food with gluten-free and dairy-free options. The menu card was full of fancy names. I noticed one of the drinks went by the name Calcutta Spicy Bloody Mary. The restaurant also had samosas, Kashmiri Kahwa, nimbu pani, vindaloo to Turkish raita and so on. The ambience flaunted a stuffed peacock, antelope head and murals of tigers and butterflies.
It is usually always a pleasure to be in an Indian restaurant with Bonian, who loves Indian food. 
But honestly we both were unhappy with what we were served in the name of Indian samosas. It was very greasy and we both could not eat it. Neither were we able to finish off the masala chai which I have no idea how they came to make. However, full marks to the ambience.
Imli Restaurant and Bar, New York
I also visited a new Indian restaurant called Imli Restaurant and Bar on New York’s 1136 First Avenue. It is a modern Indian eatery that opened a week earlier specialising in brunch menus inspired by old-world cafes of Mumbai. It has an open kitchen with an outdoor patio. The service bar offers a range of wines and cocktails. One of the owners of the restaurant is Mr Vincent and the owner is Mr Ram. The restaurant has indulged in its own kind of makeover dishes like non-vegetarian lamb samosas. Being a vegetarian, I am in no position to say how they taste. Mint laccha parantha was another dish.
WFUNA meeting with Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women
I attended the 10 June meeting in which the WFUNA Leadership joined Lakshmi Puri, the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women, in giving a high five to Goal5 at the 216th meeting of the WFUNA Executive Committee (ExCo). 
With Lakshmi Puri, DED, UN Women
Ms Puri is the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women. She had joined the leadership team in 2011 at the inception of UN Women, and has contributed towards building this new and dynamic entity. She is directly responsible for the leadership and management of the Bureau for Intergovernmental Support, UN System Coordination and Strategic Partnerships, and was the Acting Head of UN Women from March to August 2013.
WFUNA meeting in progress
The discussion highlighted the importance of gender equality in the Sustainable Development Agenda (SDA). Let me mention that Goal 5 is the fifth of the 17 Global Goals of United Nations and seeks to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
With Megan
On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), aka Global Goals, of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – that was adopted by the world leaders in September 2015 at a UN Summit - officially came into force.
Over the next fifteen years, these new Goals, that universally apply to all, countries will mobilise efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
Meeting with Sofia Borges
It was a pleasure to meet Ambassador, Her Excellency Sofia Mesquita Borges, of Timor-Leste to the UN.
ess bee 

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