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Minister opens youth UN meeting

28 July 2000 Media Statement

6pm, Friday 28 July 2000

Minister opens youth UN meeting

Associate Environment Minister Phillida Bunkle opened the first national model United Nations conference for youth in Wellington tonight.

More than 130 secondary school students from around the country are attending a NZ youth version of the United Nations at Victoria Universtiy this weekend.

In opening the conference Phillida Bunkle said the students would get a real taste of what international relationships are about. The students have been put into groups representing 36 different countries – New Zealand will not be represented.

"While none of you is representing New Zealand, I think it's an eye-opening exercise to grapple with some of the complex ideals, traditions, and desires of the countires you have adopted."

Phillida Bunkle urged the delegations to consider the importance sustainable development to the environmental and the world community.

"It's about making sure that the land we use to run our businesses – whether it's farming growing apples or making clothes – we have to make sure that the land we use today is still healthy enough for you, our future generation, to use for your businesses. But in doing that I'd like to ensure that you leave the land in as good a condition as you found it.

"When you come to discussing environmental issues, I urge you to bear the future generations of your respective countries in mind."

Twenty delegates will be chosen from those attending this weekend's forum to represent New Zealand at an international youth UN meeting at the Hague in January 2001.


Contact: Carl Bates (President, UN Youth Association NZ) 021 126 5521

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