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Thanks to the good offices of former New York resident Hannah Graute, six ABI Q2 students (apart from Hannah: Justus Marsden, Niklas Gantenberg, Celin Mousa, Vincent Mürau and Sarah Rihane) from the school’s P30 UNESCO AG and Mr Mannes were invited to attend UNIS-UN, an annual student conference organized by the United Nations International School in New York, in the first week of March 2015.

This year, the topic was Sustainability – Balancing People, Planet & Profit, exactly the theme the UNESCO AG had set as its core priority for this school year. Much of it took place in the UN’s General Assembly Hall and Secretary General Ban Ki Moon himself took half an hour out of his busy schedule to welcome everybody there and share his thoughts about sustainability – the key to our future well-being – with his audience. (He also set the students some life-long homework: Be a global citizen!) Likewise, the Secretary General’s special advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning, Amina Mohammed, also made time to brief her audience on the transition from the Millenium Development Goals to the Sustainable Development Goals.

What a change from textbooks and worksheets, being addressed by such eminent persons viva voce and getting insights and ideas of global significance straight from the horse’s mouth.

Student-run themed workshops, Open Dialogue discussions and insightful and stimulating lectures from eminent thinkers such as the executive director of the UN Global Compact Georg Kell and Hans Rosling, professor of international health at the Karolinska Institut in Stockholm and founder of the Gapminder Foundation, complemented the programme. All lecturers also had lots of time for questions and answers afterwards.

The students were hosted by members of the UNIS school community and were in very good hands indeed.

Beyond the UN Building, New York was still very much gripped by ice and snow (and later giant puddles of water everywhere when the cold abated a bit), but that did not keep the participants from also exploring the city a bit when they had time to do so.

Now, everybody is back in Berlin, working off their jet lag and cherishing lasting memories of a fantastic five days – none of which would have come to pass without the generous support of the Friends of Nelson Mandela School, who made sure that the cost of the endeavour remained within socially responsible limits. If you’re not a member yet, join them.

If you want to learn more about UNIS-UN, have a look at http://www.unis-un.org/.

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17.01.2018 Nelson-Mandela-Schule · Staatliche Internationale Schule Berlin | Nelson Mandela School · State International School Berlin