Together with 80 other students from 33 NAE schools, we took part in an immersive week in New York City, where we got the opportunity to tour the United Nations and UNICEF headquarters, attend the High Level Political Forum, partake in the Nord Anglia Global Model United Nations, and learn about the World’s Largest Lesson, as well as many other exciting opportunities!
The Global Goals are 17 goals which were passed by Member States at the United Nations in 2015. To put it simply, they are the ultimate to-do list for making the world a better place by 2030. This year, the Global Challenge, as well as preparation for the summit, revolved around two goals – Goal 11: Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, and Goal 12: Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Despite these two goals being the highlight of the 2017/2018 Global Challenge, we learned about all the goals during the trip. For example, on day one we learned about Goal 10, which focuses on reducing inequalities in all forms, ranging from reducing income equalities to promoting universal social, economic and political inclusion, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity or religion. Day two was the big MUN day.
Having been involved in organizing and chairing our school’s Model United Nations conference, I was excited to participate in yet another conference. Participation in the conference as a delegate was very rewarding, seeing that all the knowledge and experience I have gained in local conferences culminated in unique and unforgettable debates. The conference had three committees: the UN Economic and Social Council, UN Environment Programme, as well my committee, the UN Human Settlements (Habitat) Programme, where we debated sustainable solutions to slums.
What I enjoyed about this Global MUN was that the committees were specifically tailored to this year’s main goals. Moreover, in the current era of our rapidly changing world, acquaintance with global issues and worldwide awareness is more important than ever. As a result, it was a really fun experience to debate the aforementioned topic from the perspective of global affairs, diplomacy and international relations. Next, we went to the UNICEF headquarters where we spoke to UNICEF experts and were able to get an insight into the work they do day-to-day and their contribution to the Global Goals. In between all this, we learned about the Goals and how we can cooperate as Nord Anglia schools to work on them together.
The next day began with the United Nations tour – definitely my favourite and most memorable moment of the summit. This is because we were able to enter the General Assembly, Economic and Social Council, as well as the listen to a Member State committee session at the Security Council. This made a huge impression on me, seeing that I was able to witness all the committees in real life that we simulated during MUN conferences in Poland.
The next days were show day – the High Level Political Forum and the Gala Dinner, which were the climax of the entire student summit. Here, we presented our ideas, solutions, survey findings, reports, as well as the work we did over the week to the Nord Anglia Executive Board and United Nations Ambassadors.
In the meantime, we did not forget to sight-see New York and grasp the undeniable magic of the city. We had excursions to the Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island, Top of the Rock, Central Park, One World Trade Centre, Broadway – just a few to name!
Nonetheless, one of the greatest things about the trip was meeting and interacting with other like-minded individuals, who shared common and contrasting views to mine. On the trip, I made many new friends from the Americas, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Europe, which I still keep in contact with today. It was also great seeing students that I met half a year prior to this trip, in Tanzania, and students I met on annual Nord Anglia sport tournaments.
All in all, the NAE UNICEF summit was an incredible experience – definitely one I will remember for a long time. I have learned that as young adults, we hold the keys to change and shape the future and can tackle the problems our world faces today.
IB Student, Year 13