Will Watts

I would like to begin by thanking Serene Communications for this incredibly unique opportunity to visit the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva as well being able to present a speech as part of a side event on the economic empowerment of women.

As a delegate of an NGO in the United Nations, I was surprised at how exclusive our presence was seen. Compared against other children our age who were restricted to guided tours, we had the rare insight into the mechanisms of international politics. We were allowed into all the areas, including being able to sit at the human rights council itself, an opportunity not permitted to anyone other than politicians and high-ranking officials. Being able to skip a huge queue leading up to the entrance from the type of pass we were granted was also a massive bonus, not to mention surreal. Our role in the NAWO delegation meant that connections to diplomats, politicians, other NGO’s and business leaders were handed to us, leading us to engage in remarkable conversations with those at the top of their field. This interaction wasn’t limited to formal congregations either; simply walking through the impressive corridors of the ‘Palace of Nations’ also led to similar discussion.

It was when I was able to converse with the Chinese Minister of Africa Affairs in French that I realised the complete mix of cultures that can occur in one space, a refreshing apprehension that excites me for, hopefully, a global career.

Having done a speech on how women in poorer countries can be more acutely affected by climate change, expressing points that one would not have usually considered, it broadened my horizons, not just intellectually, but socially as I was able to discuss the arguments I had made with an international lawyer. He furthered my interest in international law, something I wish to pursue at a later date, and inspired writing material I would include in my personal statement. The trip I did with NAWO, organised by Serene was a huge help in jump-starting and strengthening my university application and will serve to expand my studies at one of my top choices of institution.

Again, thank you Serene.