Young people are a powerful cell of innovation and a catalyst for change, Nelson Mandela once said. The United Nations Student Conference on Human Rights (UNSCHR) provides an opportunity for students of the world to demonstrate that this is indeed true. Between December 16th and 18th, 2013, the 16th Annual UNSCHR took place and members of the Burnaby School District United Nations Connections club participated in a conference organized to enable international students to collaborate to create campaigns to promote human rights.
Two district students, and club members, Frank Cheng of Burnaby North and Hyun Soo Kanyamuna of Moscrop Secondary attended the UNSCHR in person. Together with Assistant Superintendent Heather Hart, they travelled to New York, USA in order to instigate change in the world with other young people. The two boys were selected to represent Burnaby through an application process; they have both been committed to the UN ideals of peace, mutual respect and understanding for many years.
The conference began with warm welcome remarks by the Chief of Education Outreach in the UN Department of Public Information, followed by striking context for the event given by Jane Camblin, the Executive Director of the UN International School.
The first day of the conference can be viewed online from the main UN website. http://webtv.un.org/watch/16th-un-student-conference-on-human-rights/2940591252001/
Why do violations of human rights keep occurring? What can we do to change this? Burnaby students and students from Mexico, France and various regions of the USA will come home with a new sense of understanding about the world and their place in it.