October 26th, 2016

Leamington pupil quizzes UN leader hopefuls

Leamington pupil quizzes UN leader hopefuls Leamington pupil quizzes UN leader hopefuls
15 year-old Jess Richardson stole the show when she asked the Secretary-General candidates if there was ‘any hope for future generations.’ (s)
Updated: 9:44 am, Jul 01, 2016

A TEENAGER from Leamington has asked a question of political leaders very much on young people’s minds.

Jessica Richardson put a question to three of the 11 candidates vying for the position of UN Secretary-General at a public debate in London. It was the first time in the UN’s 70 year history that a debate of this kind has taken place.

The 15-year-old stole the show with her question, which closed the debate, by asking: “As a young person, is there any hope for future generations?” The topical question came ahead of many young people asking the same question following Britain’s EU leave vote.

The candidates under the spotlight were former Portuguese prime minister António Guterres, former Serbian foreign minister Vuk Jeremić and Montenegro’s former deputy prime minister Igor Lukšić.

In response to the North Leamington School pupil all three agreed there was hope for future generations.

A spokesman for North Leamington School said: “The 21st century provides all sorts of challenges for its young people.

“We feel that the excellent efforts and keen concern of students like Jess is proof that, despite these challenges and without underestimating them, the future is in safe hands.”

* North Leamington School also hosted their own debate ahead of the EU referendum.

Brexit and Remain student candidates created short videos, arguing their views for their peers to watch. The issues of each argument were then debated by the other students and a mock-vote was held to see which side the youngsters sit.

The Sandy Lane school are hoping pupils and students – whether they can vote or not – will be more engaged with the political process by taking part in the hustings event.

On polling day, 630 of the school’s 800 pupils – around 80 per cent – voted.

The final count revealed a 70 per cent majority were in favour of remaining in the EU – Remain gained 440 votes versus 190 for Leave.