Nord Anglia Education’s bespoke UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF)
Written by Arpita DCIS Student Ambassador
During the second week of July, Nakshatra and I had a unique opportunity to participate in the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), an event exclusive to NAE students. We, along with other student ambassadors from across Asia engaged in meaningful discussions on actions necessary to tackle the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over the course of 5 days, we engaged in various activities which aimed at a better future for the generations following ours.
On the first day, we discussed statistics gathered by a selection of student ambassadors who collected, analysed, and illustrated data from their countries on their education systems. It was illuminating to discover that despite being different time zones and countries, we all shared quite a few of the same problems and wished for the same changes. Our shared problems weren’t only the foundation of friendships across different countries, but it was a unifying force to compel us to work together to achieve the aim of transforming our education systems. Our work on factivism allowed us to pitch forth facts and information that could urge today’s leaders to bring about a change.
The following day, Nakshatra from Dover Court hosted the United Nation’s High Level Political Forum. This was a side event where the panel discussed measure to ensure children and youth are protected in digital environments, especially due to complications from Covid-19. We had two other NAE students in addition to industry experts from diverse organisations such as UNICEF, the Kenyan ICT Authority, Microsoft, and Lego. Many of these experts have been working to enhance children's online connectivity during the pandemic to ensure children’s access to education. It was an enriching experience to understand the various innovative measures that today’s leaders are taking for our virtual safety and comfort.
On our 3rd day, we discussed this year’s World Children’s Day and what SDGs we wish to target. While it was a delightful experience, I cannot reveal much except that among 80+ schools, we covered each SDG and propelled the fight in achieving these goals. On our penultimate day, we had an advocacy workshop where we learnt about the arduous process of bringing about a change in our society. In my opinion, this workshop was the most fascinating because of the irony. On first glance, this workshop may seem redundant because without improving the societies we already live in, we wouldn’t have been able to attend this workshop. The most basic requirement for becoming a school ambassador was having participated, led, or contributed in some way to at least one social or cultural project within your community. Thus initially, one may wonder the requirement of this workshop. However, after attending it, I realised how small our contributions have been in the past and how much more work we as students need to do to ensure that the next generation experiences Earth as a better place than we do today. The workshop refined the skills we already had as future leaders such that we can plan better to achieve SDGs that we, as individuals, are most passionate about.
The virtual summit ended on Friday the 15th of July, in many hand-clapping emojis and virtual waves, and the student ambassadors were left to reflect on the words repeated throughout the week:
No one knows everything, but together we know a lot.
We bid farewell to our peers of this global community with screenshots of the Microsoft Teams meeting, wishing each other success on all our future endeavours in making this world a better place.