January 25, 2017

UNICEF Georgetown Hosts Fourteenth Annual International Development Conference: Climate Proof Children

In November 2016, the UNICEF Georgetown student organization hosted their fourteenth Annual International Development Conference, a one-day event supporting the goals of the United Nations Children’s Fund to educate, advocate, and fundraise for children.

The conference, “Climate Proof Children: Realizing Children’s Rights in a Changing Climate,” was supported by funding from the Global Engagement Student Fund. The fund is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Global Engagement and provides limited funding for student-organized conferences or other on-campus programs with an international, global, or transnational dimension.

UNICEF Georgetown planned the conference as a response to the growing concerns about climate change throughout the world. The ultimate aim for the event was to not only focus on the pressing issue of climate change and its impact on societies, but to initiate a conversation around the way climate change is affecting some of the most vulnerable citizens of our global community: children in developing nations.

In order to shine a spotlight on these affected communities, the conference featured a dialogue among key figures from both the private and public sectors. The speakers were all experts on the environment and its impact on children, having worked with the issue in very different ways and with varying levels of involvement. Their diverse perspectives gave attendees the opportunity to learn about the various challenges that the different sectors face and their strategic approaches to creating solutions.

The topic was also especially timely; the United States presidential election had concluded the week prior to the event. The policies that influence America’s role in the global dialogue on climate change will shift under the leadership of President Donald Trump. While the country’s new role is yet to be seen, attendees of the conference will be well-informed to participate in the conversation in a meaningful way.

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