Climate change in the Pacific has been well documented in Western media, but what frustrates me is that the sinking of Pacific islands below rising tides is too often portrayed as predetermined, rather than something can be prevented. The world has never seen changes in climate patterns such as what we are beginning to experience, and the future outcomes for nations cannot be foretold.
Freedom. A theme which would pop up constantly throughout the week while we were meeting with think tanks and visited panel discussions in preparation for the IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings. How is the freedom of sovereign nations maintained when they deal with the World Bank and the IMF?
What is 'passion'? I define it as “a strong fondness, enthusiasm, or desire for anything which compels a person to act". There are pros and cons to following our passions. True passion can be far reaching and impact lives beyond our own. Whether that outcome is good, well that's a matter of perspective.
Like Libby, I also saw the application for the AYLI World Bank and IMF meetings a day before the deadline. I had already set off on my travels en route to DC for my university exchange. But eager to make the most of my time in the United States and form as many connections as possible, I started on my application in a busy, noisy dorm room in Montréal.
What have I signed up for? That’s what I have been asking myself since I found out that I was one of eight amazing AYLI delegates heading to the Annual Meetings of the World Bank & IMF in Washington D.C.!
"The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others" - John Locke. In 3 days I'll be heading to the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings. I know the learning curve will be steep but that's what makes it so exciting!!
I wanted to spend time outside of my comfort zone, and apparently The World Bank and IMF Annual Meetings is where I'll be doing just that. I don't quite know what I'm in for or how to best prepare myself. What I do know is that my values and opinions are going to be challenged, and that I have to be at the airport by 5pm.
I’m excited to go to Outward Bound because it will give me the opportunity to explore the world out of Auckland and beyond school; I will be better equipped to influence positive social change when I get back because I will have the skills, experience and motivation to volunteer more to improve society’s obstacles to better living conditions for all.
I cannot wait to go to Outward Bound! I’m so excited to make new friends, really challenge myself and find a new mindset. I think this will be a great refresher to get me through my last year of high school and maybe even help me find something I want to do with my future.
"On one hand, a disappointment on the lack of interest, the lack of push, the lack of future from the diplomats and representatives. But on the other, rejuvenation through the depth of heart, the strength of fire, the power of purpose from the scientists and those personally attached to the ocean."
Elie Wiesel famously said, "To forget a Holocaust is to kill twice". While a visit to Auschwitz-Birkenau is difficult and emotionally exhausting, its also a must-do, if only to confirm our commitment never to forget what happened there.
This poem is primarily inspired by my friend’s love of ngā wai. However, as children of the Pacific we know that ‘love’ can never encompass the breadth of connection to our taiao. While witnessing the World Heritage Committee attempting to grapple with the crises affecting alongside celebrating with pure joy the addition of Taputapuātea as a World Heritage Site for the whole Pacific, this poem rings true over and over. It is a reminder that for us, nature and culture will never be split into arbitrary categories. Enjoy.
“Sorry Mr Chairperson, my plumber in Paris is calling me as I have a problem with my toilet in my apartment, and I have to take this call because it is much more important than the decision that was just adopted.”
Okay, so if yesterday I thought the UN was a dramatic soap opera, today it’s reached a whole new level. I’m currently watching four grown men in suits stand at a podium, seconds away from a punch up. It’s kind of like Courteney Place on a Saturday night. In fact the conference chair (whose role in this situation seems to be resident UN bouncer) just screamed into the microphone ‘call security, call security!!’. So, here’s a quick summary of what’s being going on over the past four days:
Sitting in on the UNESCO proceedings is a little like watching a live soap opera. To be honest it’s a real saga - yelling, debating and an incredible amount of schmoozing. There’s love, hate and relationship breakups - you should have seen the glares between the Philippines and the United Kingdom on Tuesday afternoon. So, with this in mind, here are the top 5 things I’ve learnt so far.
This week our UN Ocean Conference Head Delegate Emily was interviewed by the University of Auckland, where she is studying toward her PhD! Read their article here to find out the five actions she believes New Zealand must take now to protect our oceans.
I care about making it clear once and for all that the protection of heritage sites is so incredibly important and taking that away is stripping away our connections with the land. It is trying to erase traces of a civilisation and a people by way of erasing their history. There needs to be a bigger movement, a bigger push to educate the world on the importance of protecting heritage.