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Many Languages, One World

Many Languages One World 2017 -- “Share your ideas and be heard in the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations!"Deadline Approaches for 2017 UN Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum

ELS and the United Nations Academic Impact are sponsoring the fourth Many Languages, One World Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum. This year welcomes Northeastern University as the host of the Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum and the sponsor and organizer of the Northeastern University Global Youth Conference.

Sixty winners will be selected as delegates to the 2017 Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum, where they will create action plans related to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in one of the six official languages of the UN.

ELS Educational Services, Inc. will award each winner with an all-expense paid trip to Boston and New York City between 15-26, July 2017. At the Global Youth Forum, the students will create action plans addressing selected topics from the Sustainable Development Agenda, and will present their views at UN Headquarters in New York City. These international delegates will also have the opportunity to interact with invited international scholars and tour Boston and New York City. The deadline for essay submissions is 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday, 16 March, 2017.

At last month’s launch, Mr. Ramu Damodaran, chief, United Nations Academic Impact, Department of Public Information, said, “In recent months, through resolutions of its General Assembly and in the definition of the world’s sustainable development goals, the United Nations has affirmed the principle of global citizenship; of the international individual proud of her national and linguistic identity, and the pride enhanced by sharing it with others who choose to make the effort to listen and to learn. We are honored to welcome sixty of these young and receptive minds again this year.”

“The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that 65.3 million people have been forced to leave their homes due to conflict or disasters. Most of them will need to learn a new language in order to participate in education and work in any country that offers them asylum. Core values of global citizenship include tolerance and respect of other cultures and advocacy of peaceful coexistence, intrinsic to MLOW and the UNAI. These will be central themes of the 2017 MLOW Global Essay Contest and Youth Forum,” said ELS president emeritus and co-founder of Many Languages, One World, Mark W. Harris.

Northeastern University president Joseph Aoun added, “In our globalized world, there has never been a greater need for mutual understanding, and language remains our foremost tool for expression, connection, and creation. Northeastern is pleased to support this event that champions the written word in our global dialogue, and elevates understanding between students of all cultures and nations.”

To Participate:
Write an original essay (2,000 words or fewer) discussing global citizenship and cultural understanding, and the role that multilingual ability can play in fostering these.  The essay should reflect personal, academic, cultural, and national context. 

Many Languages, One World promotes the continued learning of the six official languages of the United Nations-Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.  To qualify, essays must be written in an official language of the United Nations that is neither your first language (language(s) spoken at home) nor the medium of instruction in either your primary or secondary education (or a medium of instruction if attending a bilingual school). You will need to demonstrate both written and verbal competency in the language of the essay. You must be a full-time university student, referred and endorsed by a faculty member or university representative, and must be 18 years of age or older by the contest deadline.

For full contest details, rules and entry guidelines, visit


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