Sabah students shine at the 19th International School Brunei’s Borneo Global Issues Conference

Three SECA students attending 19th ISB Borneo Global Issues Conference 2023 (Left to right Chiaravalle Diris, Jon Joosua Jonrim, Nur Athirah Aisyah Binti Rohasmezan)

BRUNEI: Three secondary school students from Sabah had recently participated in the 19th International School Brunei’s Borneo Global Issues Conference (BGIC) 2023.

The trio, who was sponsored by the Student Empowerment in Climate Action (SECA) program, took part in the conference held from 10th to 13th March 2023.

The conference focused on Sustainable Development Goal 8 – “Decent Work and Economic Growth – A Resilient and Innovative Workforce for Global Prosperity”.

The SECA students, chosen out of 70 environmental ambassadors, were among the 297 students from 23 schools who participated in the four-day event.

Traditionally, the BGIC was open only to students from Brunei, but the SECA team registered the students, and they were accepted. The conference was a Model United Nations (MUN) simulation where students played different roles and debated on various topics related to the SDGs. Prior to participation in MUN, the SECA students conducted their own research on the topics and countries they were assigned to with guidance from the SECA team.

They were assigned with the roles of Secretaries General, Committee Chairs, and Country Delegates in four different committees including Human Rights, Environment, Eco-Social, and Political.

The experience provided the SECA students, aged between 13 to 15 years old, with exposure to the international scene, allowing them to connect with other students, gain new friends, learn from each other, and exchange ideas and opinions together. Chiaravalle Diris, a SECA-sponsored student from SMK. Kota Marudu was among the delegates awarded “Best Improved Delegates” representing the Eco-Social committee that she was part of.

“From the experience of joining the ISB BGIC 2023, I hope I will be able to influence my peers and encourage them to speak up more, to not be afraid to take up new challenges, especially in public speaking.

“They will not know their own potential unless they give it a try, just like I did,” Chiaravalle Diris said. Jon Joosua Jonrim from SMK. Lok Yuk, Kudat, who also participated in the conference, said, “I was very amazed with the ways the other students presented their topics.

“Being able to observe how other students debate intensely with well-researched facts on global issues is a new and amazing experience for me.” The SECA program, a collaboration between Universiti Malaya (UM) and the Sabah Environmental Trust (SET) with funding from the Sime Darby Foundation (YSD), aims to empower students to take climate action and raise awareness on environmental issues.

It has been successful in providing opportunities for students to develop various skills, including critical thinking and public speaking, and fostering their interest in environmental issues. The SECA team expressed their gratitude to UM, SET, and YSD for their support in making the students’ participation in the conference possible.

The success of the SECA-sponsored students at the conference is a testament to the program’s effectiveness in empowering students and raising awareness on environmental issues.


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