Upper York School students headed to UN for global conference on the water crisis
Eight invitees from Upper York School will be the only representatives from Canada at the 2019 United Nations International School (UNIS) conference on the water crisis, a uniquely student-driven event that is expected to attract about 700 high school students from five continents.
“It is an honor and privilege to represent Canada as the only school invited to this one-of-a-kind global conference,” said Russell Ash, Head of School for Upper York School, located at 2832 16th Avenue in Markham, Ontario (just east of the 404). “A key focus of our academic program is to promote international mindedness by connecting subject matter to the real world and there is no better example of that thinking than this conference.”
The participants from Upper York School will include Science Teacher Sara Kyriakopoulos and students Yuhang Lu (Mark), Shizheng Kuang (Steve), Zhenghan Zhang (Robin), Sara, Maoshu Gong (Jacob), Chenyao Qian (Chen), Sheng Chen (Aria), Taohui Sun (Sam) and Zihang Zhang (Doris).
All say they are looking forward to the student driven conference, which will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City and will feature addresses by expert speakers in the General Assembly Hall.
“I am very excited to represent our school and Canada at the 2019 UNIS-UN conference and I know my school mates feel the same way,” said UYS invitee Zihang Zhang. “We have learned through our studies that we all have a responsibility to help make a world the better place by addressing key issues such as global water crisis.”
Water is central to the wellbeing of people and the planet. In addition, the diminishing availability of safe water and adequate sanitation is leading to intensifying disputes between communities and increasing tensions among nations.
UNIS-UN was founded in 1976. The first ever UNIS-UN conference was held one year later, in 1977, to educate UNIS students about issues of global importance. Subsequent conferences have dealt with issues ranging from the Future of Work to Migration.