No one is born being a citizen. You have to be taught what it means. Sonia Sotomayor
Do you want to know who you are?
Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you.

Thomas Jefferson

Student Conference Topics

“I see…dialogue as a chance for people of different cultures and traditions to get to know each other better, whether they live on opposite sides of the world or on the same side of the street.”

– Secretary General Kofi Annan

For over a decade Gertrude Shaffer has prepared middle and high school level student delegates for participation in the United Nations Student Leadership Conferences on Development hosted by the United Nations Department of Information, Global Education Motivators, and the Colegio Carol Baur Foundation. Through videoconferencing and on-site events at the United Nations, her students join hundreds of peers from around the world. Her students engage in dialogues about sustainable development, human rights, and a better future for all. Rigorous research of issues,  preparation for debates and sharing sessions, and service projects are required. Together the young adults write resolutions and plans of action to implement positive social change. Each year’s main theme includes a set of inter-related sub-themes emphasizing inter-connnectivity of issues including:

  • 2014 – Empowering Youth for Peace and Sustainable Development
  • 2013 – Six Areas of Sustainable Development
  • 2012 – Human Rights Development
  • 2011 – Discrimination and Human Rights Defenders
  • 2009 – Teaching for Peace and Human Rights, The Rights of Children
  • 2008 – Global Climate Change and Human Rights
  • 2006 – Migration and Development: Challenges for Human Rights
  • 2005 – Water as a Human Right
  • 2004 – HIV/AIDS and Human Rights: From Awareness to Action
  • 2003 – War Affected Children
  • 2002 – Human Rights and a Sustainable Future: A Better Future for All
  • 2001 – Dialog Among Civilizations
  • 2000 – Getting Involved in Youth Activism