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         17 July 2001

In November 1998, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2001 as the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations. In today's increasingly interdependent world, the need for such a dialogue is more acute than ever.

As a means of encouraging children and the general public to think about how they can contribute to the enhancement of this dialogue, the United Nations University (UNU) has organized a children's essay contest. This contest, open to elementary school and junior high school students, is being supported by the Asahi Shimbun and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

The theme of the UNU Children's Essay Contest 2001 is "Dialogue Beyond Borders: What I/we can do to enhance understanding and cooperation with one another beyond race, culture and nationality." Each contest participant submitted a two-page Japanese-language essay on this theme.

Nearly 900 children from Japan and abroad participated in the UNU Essay Contest 2001. Winning essays will be chosen by a judging panel consisting of:
Keiko Ochiai (writer)
Yoshio Hatano (former Ambassador of Japan to the United Nations)
Kenji Kitayama (Director, Asahi Forum, Asahi Shimbun)
Yozo Yokota (UNU Special Adviser to the Rector & Professor, Chuo University)

The panel will select five winners (one 1st Prize, one 2nd Prize and three 3rd Prizes) in each of the two categories (elementary school and junior high school).

Writers of the winning essays will receive their awards at a ceremony held at UN House in Tokyo from 2:00 PM on 26 July. Each of the 10 award winners will receive an Award Certificate signed by UNU Rector Hans van Ginkel and a packet of book coupons. The 1st and 2nd Prize essays in each category will be published in an August edition of the Asahi Shimbun, and all of the award-winning essays will be posted on the UNU website (

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend the UNU Children's Essay Contest 2001 award ceremony.

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For further information please contact UNU Public Affairs Section: Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246; Fax (03) 3406-7346




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