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Wednesday, 05 December 2012

Youth Convene at SAIIA for first ever Young Leaders Conference Featured

  SAIIA
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The first committee, on environmental sustainability, presenting the results of their negotiations The first committee, on environmental sustainability, presenting the results of their negotiations © SAIIA

This weekend, 50 outstanding high school learners SAIIA selected from all over South Africa arrived at the Institute to participate in its inaugural SAIIA Young Leaders Conference, from 9-14 December 2012.

The conference exposed these young people to inspiring leaders in government, the private sector, academia and the diplomatic corps to discuss issues related to international affairs. It gave them the opportunity to debate and find solutions to a whole range of challenges, locally and globally.

Learner delegates put forward and negotiated three topical issues:

  • Climate Change and Sustainable Development 
  • Education as a global priority
  • United Nations Security Council reform (as South Africa’s second tenure as a non-permanent member of the UNSC comes to an end).

"It is important to note that this is not just an exercise," says the organiser, SAIIA's Youth Development Officer Desiree Kosciulek. "These young delegates discussed real issues and found real solutions."

The negotiations, to be held on 11 and 12 December at SAIIA, culminated in the presentation of learner research findings and the handover of the  pdf  2012 SAIIA Young Leaders Declaration (277.09 kB) on 13 December at Freedom Park in Pretoria.

Read the icon 2012 SAIIA Young Leaders Declaration (277.09 kB).

You can read full details of the presentation of the Young Leaders Declaration in the attached invitation. For more information, contact youth@saiia.org.za.


img YLC presentation 2012

Image: The hall at Freedom Park, filled with youth delegates and representatives from government and the United Nations (c) SAIIA


The Young Leaders Conference forms part of Youth@SAIIA programmes for high school learners, and is made possible by the generous support of ABSA and Sasol.

The 2012 SAIIA Young Leaders Conference builds on last year’s Youth@SAIIA delegation that held their own youth negotiation during COP17 in Durban. Their efforts culminated in the iconThe SAIIA South African Durban Youth and Children’s Protocol (322.11 kB). This year’s delegates are drawn from Youth@SAIIA’s three flagship programmes: the Environmental Sustainability Project,SAIIA Model United Nations and  Interschools Quizzes. 

The 2012 SAIIA Young Leaders Conference will use the principles of Model United Nations (MUN). Below is a short, inspiring video in which high-school learners explain what they have learned from the SAIIA MUN programme.

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