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UC student to push Christchurch and NZ at Y20 Summit

UC postgraduate student to push Christchurch and NZ at Y20 Summit

February 16, 2014

A University of Canterbury (UC) postgraduate student has been selected to represent New Zealand at the Y20 Summit in Sydney in July.

At the conference, masters student Henrietta McNeill will give Christchurch and New Zealand a plug as a place of opportunity as Canterbury grows from the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes.

``There is high youth unemployment (around 56 percent) in places like Spain and the Christchurch rebuild is a great opportunity for a solution to these global economic problems that our New Zealand delegation could bring to the negotiation table.

``The Y20 is part of the G20 Summit, where international leaders go to generate solutions about global economic challenges. A total of 120 young people from the G20 nations and guest nations will attend. Key themes include economic growth and job creation, sustainable development and global citizenship.

``I was chosen due to my youth networking background, as a 2013 member of the Christchurch Youth Council, and my role in increasing youth civic participation and engagement in politics by establishing the University of Canterbury Political Science Society in 2011.

``I was also selected because of my honours and MA studies with a focus on the European Union (EU) and diplomatic experience through the National Centre for Research on Europe at UC. I was a domestic intern with the EU Delegation to New Zealand in Wellington in 2012 and an MEP intern to two Members of the European Parliament (British and Finnish) in Brussels, Belgium, last year.

``That was an amazing opportunity which taught me a lot. My understanding of development issues and international relations stems from my degrees in political science and European Union Studies here at UC.

``Our New Zealand delegation, myself and another person from Wellington, will be using social media and other forms of engagement with young people all around the country and from diverse backgrounds, so we can represent them well in Sydney.

``We want to hear what youth think about the issues and any innovative solutions they may have so we can take it to the international negotiation table.

``The outcomes of the Y20 Summit will be prepared into a document for Prime Minister John Key to take to the G20 Summit in November alongside other world leaders.’’


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