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UN-bound . . . Craighead Diocesan School pupils Meghan Templeton (left) and Amy Xie are set to be part of the 2020 UN Youth New Zealand delegation next January, when they will visit United Nations sites in North America and Europe. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

by Greta Yeoman

Two Timaru pupils are bound for United Nations locations of note next year.

Craighead Diocesan School pupils Meghan Templeton (17) and Amy Xie (18) are set to spend about a month travelling around UN locations in Europe and America in January, as part of a UN Youth New Zealand delegation.

Amy Xie said being part of the Global Development Tour, which includes visiting United Nations sites in New York, London, Paris, Berlin, Vienna and Rome, would be “pretty cool”.

The 2020 delegation, which consists of 22 young New Zealanders who are set to leave school at the end of this year, come from around the country, including Tauranga, Gisborne, Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Marlborough.

The Craighead duo are two of six South Island school-leavers on the trip, along with two Christchurch residents, one from Lincoln High School and another from Marlborough Girls’ College, in Blenheim.

“[We will be] trying to make a change.”

They will visit United Nations sites in North America and Europe that are relevant to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which builds on the Millennium Development Goals.

These include issues such as human rights, climate change, life above and below the sea, and poverty, Amy said.

“[It] covers quite a spectrum.”

Along with visiting UN sites, the New Zealand group will also take part in a Model United Nations conference, hosted at Columbia University’s Manhattan campus, in New York.

Amy said it would be great to understand more about the United Nations, as well as specific efforts being undertaken in cities, such as schemes around waste in London.

Meghan said while most discussions or coverage of climate issues were about what was going wrong, the trip would also enable them to see what positive changes were being made.

The pair both hoped it would inspire them to come back and know how to make changes in their communities.

Amy said it was also important because their older family members would always tell them it would be up to their generation to rectify the mistakes of the past.

“[We will be] trying to make a change.”

They both had a long-held interest in environmental issues and human rights and this was why they had signed up.

It was a big commitment because of the cost, as well as studying several education modules that had to be undertaken before the conference, Meghan said.

The pair will host a fundraising quiz night in September and are looking for other sponsorship opportunities. Meghan can be contacted on 027 688-7262 and my on 022 678-0968.