Hall student Sherry Da goes to United Nations Environment Assembly

12 Mar 2024

Teddy Hall postgraduate Sherry Da (2023, MSc Water Science, Policy and Management) attended the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) from 26 February to 1 March in Nairobi, Kenya, funded by the College’s Keith Gull Fund. This fund is used to support current students who undertake special projects such as charitable work, choral and drama tours, travel for unusual academic opportunities and to assist others.

Sherry shares her experience at the UNEA-6 and what she learnt whilst on the Youth delegation.

“I attended the sixth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly from February 26 – March 1 in Nairobi, Kenya. I was one of many youth delegates selected by the Children and Youth Major Group (CYMG) of the United Nations Environment Programme to convene, organise, and advocate for better climate policies at the conference.

It was a very special experience to witness international climate negotiations behind closed doors. Many of the youth delegates diligently tracked the negotiations and put forth interventions, when possible, to ensure that the youth voice is counted and to keep member states accountable for our future. With my current studies in my MSc Water Science, Policy, and Management, I followed the resolution on water. From the lengthy negotiation process, we witnessed member states discuss pressing environmental challenges and work together to find global compromise points. Although the final resolutions fell short of the CYMG hopes, it is another reminder that the international community can work together to continually protect the climate.

Having gained a deeper and more nuanced understanding of environmental and global equity challenges through the lens of water at Oxford, I came back feeling renewed to further my studies. It was really insightful to witness the global conversation and see how many people are working towards a similar goal, as well as how much more we must do to meet the challenges of the climate crisis. This experience has given me a lot to think about how my current studies align with international goals and what role I can play in the future.

During my week I had the opportunity to meet the Canadian High Commissioner, a group meeting with the French State Secretariat for the Sea, and I even went on a safari with a previous vice co-chair of the IPCC. I learned so much from these experiences and it was such a unique opportunity to meet them in an international forum.

It was such a joy and honour to have participated and met fellow youth who were passionate about climate change and making a difference internationally. I feel really inspired learning about youth environmental initiatives around the world, and it motivates me to work harder to apply my skills and knowledge.”

UN Sherry DA Youth Delegate Group 2
UN Sherry DA Youth Delegate Group

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