Sixty college and university students from 26 countries have been invited to attend a youth forum at UN Headquarters on 27 June 2014 to discuss the role of multilingualism in a globalized world. They are winners of an international essay contest, organized by ELS Educational Services, INC. and the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI).
The contest, Many Languages One World, invited university and college students to write an essay on global citizenship in one of the six official UN languages, which must not be their mother-tongue, or the medium of instruction of their education. More than 4,000 people from 128 countries took part in some phase of the contest. The official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
The people who participated in the contest included college freshmen as well as Doctoral candidates, and their fields of study ran the academic gamut, including all of the arts and sciences, medicine, pharmacy and dentistry, engineering, law, business, finance and management, agriculture, architecture, communications and linguistics and translation. A large number of publications across the globe picked up this story, and the social media platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter, provided strong support.
At the invitation of the ELS Educational Services Inc., ten winners from each language group will travel to New York in June, and participate in a 5 day Global Youth Forum. They will work in their language teams to create action plans around themes from the United Nations Academic Impact. On June 27, they will present these plans at a special meeting at United Nations Headquarters.
This will also be the launch of a year-long celebration of the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. The United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco on 26 June 1945, leading to the establishment of the United Nations on 24 October 1945. The Youth Forum at UN Headquarters is open to all. Those interested to attend, are requested to pre-register.
Please visit the Many Languages, One World ELS site for more information.