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BBIS Delegates Prepare for the 41st Annual UNIS-UN Conference

Friday, 3 February, 2017

As was the case last year, The United Nations International School (UNIS) New York, has kindly invited BBIS to attend the 41st Annual International UNIS-UN Conference founded by Ms. Sylvia Gordon to be held on Thursday 2 and Friday 3 March 2017 in the United Nations General Assembly, in New York City.

UNIS-UN is an organization that seeks to promote intellectual discourse as well as cultural exchange among students through an annual conference relating to a contemporary global issue. This exchange of knowledge will be enriched by the sharing of perspectives of young minds from around the globe and cultivated by the presentations of speakers who are knowledgeable about the topic of migration in hopes of inspiring awareness and new outlooks on the state and future of our world. Over the two conference days, distinguished guest speakers will address various aspects of the theme, and afterwards, in Q&A sessions, time will be allotted for the students to engage in a dialogue with each speaker.  In the day preceding the conference, a Day of Cultural Exchange is hosted at UNIS in order to provide a more intimate, non-academic environment for students to share their diversity through interactive workshops and a cultural talent show.

The UNIS-UN Organizing Committee is comprised of high school students from UNIS. We are not only responsible for the organization of the conference, but also collectively write, edit, and publish the Working Paper, a compilation of articles that are relevant to the conference topic that is distributed to all participating students.

In past years, the conference has been honored with addresses by distinguished individuals such as H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, current Secretary-General of the United Nations; H.E. Mr. Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations; Richard Butler, former Chief Weapons Inspector to the United Nations; Hillary Clinton, former United States Secretary of State; global-warming activist Laurie David; current United States ambassador to the United Nations, H.E. Ms. Samantha Power, and the founder of One Laptop per Child, Nicholas Negroponte. In addition, many human rights advocates such as Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, Vanessa Redgrave, and actor-director Morgan Spurlock have spoken at past UNIS-UN conferences. Previous conference topics include: Human Exploitation: Exposing the Unseen (2012), Modern Youthquake: A Generation’s Impact (2013), Globalization: A World of Exchange (2014), Sustainability: Balancing People, Planet and Profit (2015), and most recently Media’s Influence: Opinions, Activism, and Outcomes (2016).

This year's conference topic will be Migration: Crossing the Line. This year's conference topic will focus on the global movement of people. This issue currently holds the international spotlight as migration has and will continue to impact countries around the globe through a variety of forms. The 2017 UNIS-UN international student conference will examine varying perspectives on the issues surrounding migration: the causes, individual experiences as well as the political and humanitarian responses to migration. As millions of people flee their countries to escape armed conflict, political turmoil and economic hardships, who is responsible for providing aid, and to what extent, will be considered. While answers might not be found to these complex questions, it is hoped that the discussion will result in a deeper understanding of global migration.

The eight delegates who will represent BBIS at the conference this year are:

Grade 11

Hyun Jun Koh; Johannes Krauss; Otto Vitali ; Kira von Lewinski ; Hye Soo Paik

Grade 10

Konrad Krieger; Farid Musayev; Jessica Yun

The trip will be led by Mr Jonathan Grissett and Ms Goldie Abaee.

On Tuesday evening this week, the two chaperones, along Ms Lorenz and Mr Hand held an information meeting for BBIS conference delegates and their parents. Led by the chaperones, the meeting was both informative and exciting.

We are confident that our delegates will make fine ambassadors, representing BBIS’ values  and will contribute positively to the conference which will focus on a timely, relevant and profound issue.

We wish them well!