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Unforgettable time at student commonwealth gathering

RECENTLY I attended the Student Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. It was one of the best things I have ever experienced.

It was filled with inspiring and aspirational people, politics and plenty of laughs.

It consisted of representing a country in the Commonwealth — I was a part of Bangladesh — with students playing the roles of the Prime Minister or President and the minister of foreign affairs for each country.

We were to represent this country, what it stands for and what it would do in any given situation — basically as if we were the real CHOGM.

The meeting was centred around creating solutions for current world and Commonwealth issues, and then debating and voting until reaching a consensus with all countries.

The meeting was attended by 31 young people from across the country, from far north to far south, and everyone had different backgrounds and opinions. This made for a great debate.

It was held at Parliament Buildings in Wellington and hosted by the Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne and Commonwealth Youth New Zealand.

I have three major highlights; the first was the state dinner held in the Parliament Banquet Hall on the first night. It was divine and very proper, I enjoyed being able to learn about others in the SCHOGM. The dinner was also attended by a former Governor-General of New Zealand.

On the second day Bangladesh placed its first resolution in to be debated, on which a consensus was reached and everyone in the Commonwealth agreed that “a collaboration should be made with countries in the Commonwealth that are at extreme risk of climate change and rising sea levels, to discuss and create common goals, to then as a whole discuss with the wider Commonwealth”.

My third highlight was in the afternoon of the second day, when we got to sit in on a parliamentary debate between the current Government and the opposing Labour party. It was amazing to watch the parliamentary system in action and all the politicians, even the Prime Minister Bill English and Jacinda Ardern, were there.

Student Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting was a truly life- changing experience I will never forget.