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Student's Voice: Benedicte Vestrum

24 March 2017

Four lucky students have been selected as ambassadors to represent NAIS Pudong in the UN’s High Level Political Forum, on sustainable development in New York in July 2017. UNICEF have invited up to 80 Nord Anglia Education students from across the 43 schools to participate in this event and we were lucky to be allocated four student places.

Sammi Huang, I-Zac Lee (both Year 13), Benedicte Vestrum and Fernanda Bravo (both Year 12) are the lucky students who have been selected. They have all demonstrated dedication and passion for internationalism, Model UN and the Sustainable Development Goals and we look forward to them working with other students at NAIS Pudong to ensure that the entire community can benefit from their experience.

They will participate in workshops to develop their public speaking and presentation skills, a Model UN event and will even have the opportunity to present ideas to the diplomats working for international cooperation in the UN.

The following contribution by Benedicte Vestrum , Y12, details her expectations from this amazing experience:

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It is an honour to be selected as a representative for our school to work together with UNICEF and the World’s Largest Lesson. Myself and three other representatives (Fernanda, Sammi, and I-Zac) will be spending a week in New York learning about some of the functions of the United Nations and presenting our collective ideas on sustainable development to the UN High Level Political Forum.

In 2015, the UN announced 17 goals, the Sustainable Development Goals, that they wish to have achieved by the end of 2030. These goals are built upon the previous Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015), but are further reaching and have various targets for each specific goal. Some of the issues specified by the UN include education, equality, and economic growth.

The majority of our time in New York will be spent collaborating with other students from across the world on our ideas for sustainable development. Together, we will be able to collate our ideas and form an extensive interconnected network across the globe. Furthermore, one of the activities that we will be engaging in is a one-day MUN conference, where we will be simulating a real UN conference in order to constructively debate issues of global significance. Finally, the workshops that we will be participating in will help us prepare for the presentation to the UN HLPF at the end of the week. Being able to interact with official diplomats and learn about their job is an exciting opportunity; the field of diplomacy is one that I hope to explore further in the future.

However, our focus is not only on the preparations for the trip to New York and our stay there. It is important that we promote and raise awareness of the global issues that we can help solve within our community. Therefore, in the next academic year we hope to implement projects centred around two specific goals of the Sustainable Development Goals after having learned from official UN HLPF attendees. These cover the issues of hunger and well-being (goals 2 and 3). We hope that we will be able to put our knowledge to good use to successfully implement strategies within our community and work closely with the other Nord Anglia schools.