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Sofia UNICEF

PBIS student shares some key messages with governments and decision makers

On Thursday 17 September, Sofia K., a year 13 student from our Libus campus, shared her perspective on important global issues in a United Nations Voluntary National Review (VNR). Sofia was asked by UNICEF to share some key messages with governments and other decision-makers who are currently developing national plans to implement the SDGs.

Nature is not a privilege, it is our ally. We depend on it for our well-being and protecting it is in our own interests.

Sofia wanted to tell governments that they should prioritize human well-being and nature above the economy. She explained:

"Nature is not a privilege, it is our ally. We depend on it for our well-being and protecting it is in our own interests. Conserving nature and stopping the process of extinction and destruction which is currently happening requires a major shift in the perception of how we consume foods and goods. It also requires governments to make the environmental impact of their actions a priority. Governments must step up to the challenge."

She also highlighted the importance of helping students understand the UN Sustainable Development Goals through School Curricula. She said:

"The SDGs should not be imposed on students – creating resentment. Rather, it is important to put the SDGs into school curricula as part of critical thinking, debate and discussions, so young people are aware of vital global issues and can make well thought-out decisions based on reliable information. As a result, a new generation can be created – a generation who turns potential indifference into action."

You can read Sofia's full speech here

Sofia has also outlined her thoughts about the process of speaking in front of important members of the UN, UNICEF and national governments:

"It was quite a nerve wracking but important experience for me. I got to talk about issues of global significance, and had the responsibility of making the voices of youth heard. I think it’s an important ethical choice to participate in events like these, since the sooner we can incorporate the SDGs into our everyday routines, the more we can achieve."