UN launches essay contest to celebrate multilingualism

posted in: Africa

Photo: Wright State University


New York, US – The UN and US-based ELS Educational Services have signed an agreement to foster multilingualism among the youth, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said on Tuesday.

Mr. Nesirky, who spoke with a PANA Correspondent at the UN headquarters in New York, said that through the agreement the organisation was showcasing a contest between college and university students to write an essay in one of its six official languages on the role of multilingualism in a globalized world.

He said the contest, entitled: “Many Languages, One World”, would support international education and multilingualism through the continued study of Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

He disclosed that the agreement was signed on Monday at the UN headquarters in New York between the UN Department of Public Information and the ELS Educational Services.

The spokesperson stated: “Our collaboration focuses on two of the priorities of the Secretary-General, one being youth and the other multiculturalism, and this is a wonderful way of bringing those two together.”

Nesirky said: “To qualify for the contest, the student’s native language has to be different from the one in which he or she writes, and different from the principal one at the school.”

He also said that a panel of international judges, to be invited by the UN and ELS Educational Services, would select 10 top winners in each language category who will be invited to New York by ELS to participate in a series of events in June 2014.

PANA learnt that these events would include a youth forum on global citizenship and the nine other principles of UN Academic Impact (UNAI), at UN Headquarters on 27 June, 2014, ahead of the 70th anniversary of the UN Charter.

The forum would be preceded by a preparatory students’ conference at Adelphi University on Long Island, New York.