I am delighted to post news today that 17 year old New Zealand student Brittany Trilford has just won a world speech competition, 'Speak truth to power' in the run up to the Rio plus 20 Earth Summit in June this year.
Brittany's achievement is both tremendous and ironic. It is tremendous because her home recorded you tube speech is a thoughtful, intelligent vision for a more sustainable and socially just economy. It is ironic because her New Zealand government initially objected to
Clause 57 of the draft treaty for this Rio meeting- (a clause that calls for
'considering the establishment of an Ombudsperson, or High Commissioner for
Future Generations, to promote sustainable development’). No reason was given for the NZ government's position (normally that country prides itself on its democratic innovation- as the first country to have granted women the vote).
Thankfully New Zealand has now softened its outright objection and now NZ 'reserves judgment' on clause 57. Let's hope sense prevails, and they eventually support this moderate clause-which after all only suggests that the UN treaty partners investigate ways to consider the needs and rights of future generations.
Imagine, it took a kiwi highschool student to make her country proud by placing New Zealand back on the world stage at an international environmental meeting in June- not her government!
To learn more about Brittany's remarkable achievement see here: Brittany Trilford
To watch her original video entry see Britany Trilford's award winning entry
See the UN Climate Change Secretary General Christiana Figureres response to Brittany's talk here.