Youth - ESSAY CONTEST “YOUTH VOICES FROM CENTRAL ASIA – UN75 AND REGIONAL PEACE AND SECURITY”

To mark its 75th anniversary in 2020, the United Nations has launched UN75 – an initiative to foster a truly global partnership to realize our shared aspirations for a just, peaceful and sustainable future. UN75 seeks to collect diverse perspectives and creative ideas on what is needed to address emerging risks and opportunities to achieve the future we want. As part of UN75, the UNRCCA Preventive Diplomacy Academy is launching a contest to gather the ideas of young people from Central Asia and Afghanistan.  

Your entry should focus on your vision of the world in 2045 and how we make it happen. Be creative! Your essay can include photos or drawings too. Since UNRCCA is all about preventive diplomacy, your essay should reflect on regional peace and security, the Youth, Peace and Security agenda, the Women, Peace and Security agenda or any other area of the work of the United Nations Security Council.

Here’s some questions to get you started:

  • What does preventive diplomacy mean to you, and how can it help you achieve your vision of the future?
  • How can countries work together more effectively to achieve the future you want?
  • How has COVID-19 affected peace and security in your community, your country or your region? What can help to make things better?
  • What can you do by yourself to create the world we want? What are you doing for a better world? How can the UN help you?
  • What is the role of young people in international and regional peace and security? Young women? People with disabilities?
  • What action can we take right now to make a better world for future generations?
  • What kind of future do you want for your children and grandchildren, and how can regional peace and security issues affect their future?

And for more help, we have prepared backgrounders on how to write an essay and issues you might want to write about: 

Winning essays will be published in a book in English and Russian that will help ensure the voices of young people from Central Asia and Afghanistan are well represented in the global UN75 dialogue. It will be presented to world leaders and senior UN officials at the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations in New York in September 2020. UNRCCA will also distribute it to Government officials as well as to the general public through its website and social media.

This is a unique opportunity to convey your opinions, ideas and even criticism to some of the most influential people in the world. Your ideas will be used to inform public debate and can be taken up by national and international decision-makers, inspire broader civic engagement and help deepen international cooperation. 

Eligibility. This competition is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 35 who are citizens of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan or Afghanistan. Citizens of these countries living abroad are also eligible, as well as citizens of other countries who are currently studying in any of these six countries.

Participants may include people who are critical of the United Nations and those who may not always be represented, such as people living with disabilities, migrants, refugees, internally displaced people and human rights advocates.

Entries. Essays should be 500-700 words. You can include photographs or drawings that illustrate your ideas. You can submit your entry in English or Russian, and winning entries will be translated to the other language for publication.

All work must be original and plagiarized entries will be disqualified. Any photos or drawings must be your own.

 Evaluation criteria. Winners will be selected by a panel of UNRCCA staff and invited guests, who will evaluate your contributions according to the following criteria:

  • how well you respond to the UN75 themes;
  • your focus on regional peace and security issues;
  • your creativity and innovation; and
  • how effectively you convey your ideas.

Submission and inquiries. Once you’re ready, send your submission by email to UNRCCA-Academy@un.org. Please include the entry form with your submission.

Entries that do not include this form will be disqualified.

Entries must be received by 31 July 2020!

In 2019, the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia launched the UNRCCA Preventive Diplomacy Academy to help unlock the enormous potential of young people to support peace and security across the region and to promote the Youth, Peace and Security agenda. In 2019, the Academy trained nearly 100 young people in border areas across the region and culminated in the first-ever Government-Youth Dialogue for Central Asia and Afghanistan, where young people delivered a series of messages on regional peace and security to the Deputy Foreign Ministers of the six countries.

You can download a short publication in English and Russian about the Government-Youth Dialogue here: https://unrcca.unmissions.org/first-government-youth-dialogue.

For more information:

UN75

UNRCCA