Monday, 15 August 2016
Global Young Leaders 2016
Over the mid-year holidays we travelled to the United States to participate in the Global Young Leaders Conference held in Washington DC and New York.
We were placed in groups representing different countries in the United Nations Security Council. We listened to inspirational speakers from the World Bank, Peace Players International, the United Nations and many more. We also visited the Empire State Building, Abraham Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Institution, the White House, Wall Street, the Metropolitan Museum (MET), Times Square, Central Park, 5th Avenue and so much more. Although we were at the same conference we had very individual experiences.
For me the highlight of the trip (though the pizza in NYC was pretty darn good) was the people I met. I learnt so much about different countries and cultures simply through having conversations with others. It’s definitely a different level of learning to be taught by friends. It was an incredible opportunity to be able to meet such a diverse group of people who at the beginning of the conference I only knew by their name and country and be able to call them friends for life.
Over the course of the program I was part of the group representing China. With 21 others from 13 different countries including Canada, The Philippines, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, Norway and Columbia, we created a resolution that was presented and debated in a ‘Global Summit’ held in the United Nations Headquarters. Besides the academic work, we had many sight-seeing and social events. The highlights for me included the MET, SoHo, our cultural exchange night, the cruise in New York City, the Finnish embassy and the environmental speaker Mr James Nations. I didn’t realise how much I would learn from the people I met on this program. Living with an inspiring group of young adults for two weeks taught me about myself, the world and about other cultures. I am still in touch with a lot of these people and I am looking forward to travelling the world and visiting my new friends in their home countries.
Chloe Richardson and Niamh Keighran – Year 11