2012 Asia Pacific Conference on Giftedness

September 26, 2012

The 12th Asia Pacific Conference on Giftedness was held in Dubai, UAE from 14th to 18th July, 2012. This was the first time this biennial conference was held in the Middle East.  The 2012 conference was hosted by the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for the Distinguished Academic Performance,  which is also partnered by UNESCO.  It was held under the patronage of HH Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum,  Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Finance Minister.

The Children & Youth Conference, which was an integral part of this summit, brought together the most brilliant, gifted and intelligent 9-18 year old minds of the Asia Pacific Region.  Almost 570 children attended this unique summit, with participants from Korea, Thailand, China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon and other Asian nations.

Selection criteria included the young peoples’ giftedness and brilliance, and IQ test, and examples of work they had done in environmental, social and educational fields.  I was humbled by the fact that I was the only expatriate Indian girl from the Middle East, and from my school, to qualify to attend this conference.

Over the 5 days we participants took part in various workshops.  They included arts & crafts, leadership, writing, wildlife, peace, environment & sustainability. One of the main themes was the importance of education for sustainable development, and the role of gifted children as leaders in this initiative.

As the propagator of Rio legacy in this region, I shared my Earth Summit experiences with all of the delegates. I shared my projects on sustainability, conservation and green economy.
As the only Children Of The Earth leader at this conference, I took the opportunity to spread the message of peace and sustainability at the regional level.  I formed a core team of participating delegates from Middle Eastern countries, and I shared about the work I have done in the UAE.  We have formed a common mail group and are networking with each other on our peace building activities and environmental projects, which we hope will benefit the Middle East. 

Kehkashan Basu

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