Many Languages, One World®

2017 Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum

Official Contest Rules

Many Languages, One World 2017 Student Essay Contest and Global Youth Forum
The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), in collaboration with ELS Educational Services, Inc., (ELS) invites students, 18 years and older, who are enrolled in a full-time course of study at a college or university, to participate in the Many Languages, One World Essay Contest.

ESSAY TOPIC:The essay should discuss global citizenship and cultural understanding, and the role that multilingual ability can play in fostering these. The essay should reflect the student’s personal, academic, cultural and national context.

ENTRY RULES: Essays of up to 2,000 words in length must be written in one of the six official languages of the United Nations-Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian or Spanish.

A Faculty Member or other Authorized Representative of the institution is required to complete a referral form attesting that the Entrant is a current full-time student of the institution in good standing, that the essay is written in a language that is neither the Entrant’s first language nor the principal language of instruction during the Entrant’s primary or secondary education, and that the entry is the Entrant’s original, unaided work. Entries must be uploaded in MS Word format to the website by 11:59 pm Eastern Daylight Time on Friday, 31 March, 2017.  More questions?  


A total of sixty contest winners will be selected through a rigorous three-stage process; ten winners in each of the six official languages of the United Nations. These winners will be invited to the United States to participate in a series of events between 15-26 July, 2017. These events will include a Global Youth Forum on “Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” in the context of multilingualism, cultural diversity and global citizenship, and the opportunity to present their views at United Nations Headquarters in New York City. The event at the United Nations will be preceded by a preparatory conference sponsored and arranged by ELS Educational Services, Inc.

During the preparatory conference, winners will work with the students in their language group to prepare action plans toward the realization of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These plans will be presented at the Global Youth Forum at United Nations Headquarters.

Please note that winners will not be reading or presenting the text of their essays at this event.

ELS will pay for round-trip economy class airfares in carriers of its choosing between the airport nearest to the winners’ home city and the site of the preparatory conference, and be responsible for the winners’ travel, room and meals for the duration of the conference (7-12 days). Sightseeing and tourism opportunities will also be arranged by ELS. No extensions of stay or early arrivals will be possible. Winners are responsible for all documentation relating to their journey, including passports and visas and the costs related to these, as well as appropriate medical insurance for their journey and temporary stay in the United States. ELS will provide each winning student with a basic travel and accident insurance policy, for which the premium will be paid by ELS.

Winners will be given certificates of participation by ELS, signifying that they have participated in the Global Youth Forum arranged in cooperation with the United Nations Academic Impact.

As a condition of participation, winners will agree to waive liability for both ELS and the United Nations specifying that they understand that ELS is the organizer and agreeing to hold both ELS and the United Nations harmless for any injury or liability which might occur during the conference or at the United Nations.

On the student entry form, participants will have to acknowledge that they have read, understood and agree to accept the Indemnification and Limitation of Liability, and Information Release statements below:


By entering the contest, each entrant agrees to indemnify, release and hold harmless ELS Educational Services, Inc., the United Nations and all of their respective parent, affiliate and subsidiary companies, administrators, officers, directors, employees, representatives and agents (collectively, the “RELEASEES”), from any liability, damages, losses or injury of any kind resulting in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from that entrant’s participation in the contest, including but not limited to, property damage, personal injury or death which may result from or occur in connection with, preparation for, travel to and/or participation in the contest or from the acceptance, possession, or use or misuse of any prize awarded or participation in any prize-related activity and for any claims based on publicity rights, defamation or invasion of privacy and prize delivery. RELEASEES do not make any warranties, express or implied, as to the condition, fitness or merchantability of any prize. RELEASEES disclaim any liability for damage to any computer system resulting from access to or the download of information or materials connected with the contest.

For the avoidance of doubt, this limitation of liability is a comprehensive limitation of liability that applies to all damages of any kind, including (without limitation) compensatory, direct, indirect, or consequential damages; loss of data, income, or profit; loss or damage to property; and claims of third parties. Entrants agree that RELEASEES have not made nor are in any manner responsible or liable for any warranty, representation, or guarantee, statutory, express or implied (including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, title, and fitness for a particular purpose), in fact or in law, relative to the contest or the prize awarded. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, RELEASEES do not make any express or implied warranties or representations with respect to any promotional website and RELEASEES shall not be liable for the consequences of any interruptions or errors related thereto.

RELEASEES are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, illegible, inaccurate, delayed, garbled, damaged, stolen or misdirected submissions, or problems of any kind, whether mechanical, human or electronic. RELEASEES are not responsible for technical, hardware or software malfunctions, telephone failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, inability to access a website, inability to submit an entry, or fraud, incomplete, garbled, or delayed computer transmissions or inaccurate transcription of entry information, whether caused by RELEASEES, users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the contest or by any technical or human error which may occur in the processing of submissions which may damage a user’s system or limit an entrant’s ability to participate in the contest. RELEASEES are not responsible for late, lost, incomplete, illegible, damaged or misdirected entries or mail.


I understand that while I retain the rights to my essay, by participating in Many Languages, One World Essay Contest, Conference and Global Youth Forum, I grant ELS and the UN (“RELEASEES”) a worldwide, exclusive, royalty-free, and irrevocable license to use the content of the essays in whole or in part. In addition, I grant ELS permission to photograph, record, and videotape all activities during the conference and Global Youth Forum. These recordings and photographs will become the property of ELS for didactic use at their discretion, in all media, in perpetuity, to promote multilingualism and global understanding. I also grant the United Nations permission to photograph, record, and videotape all activities during the conference. These recordings and photographs will become the property of the United Nations.

For the avoidance of doubt, I hereby irrevocably grant RELEASEES perpetually, exclusively, for all media throughout the world (including, but not limited to, print, non-theatrical, audio, video, film, CD, Internet and any other electronic medium presently in existence or invented in the future), the right to use and incorporate (alone or together with other materials), in whole or in part, recordings, photographs, and/or images made of me or submitted by me to RELEASEES, my name, voice or likeness (“Image”), in written, audio, video or still photography format, in television advertising, radio advertising, press advertising, promotional material, and any and all internal documents, including but not limited to annual reports, public relations displays and other publications, including website publications, without payment or any other consideration. I acknowledge RELEASEES’ right to discontinue use of my Image without notice and/or to edit or treat my Image at its discretion. I also acknowledge that RELEASEES may choose not to use my Image at this time, but may do so at its own discretion at a later date.

I hereby agree that I will not bring or consent to others bringing claim or action against RELEASEES on the grounds that my Image, or the manner in which my Image is/are used, is defamatory, reflects adversely on me, violates any other right whatsoever, including, without limitation, rights of privacy and publicity.

I hereby release RELEASEES from and against any and all claims, demands, actions, causes of action, suits, costs, expenses, liabilities and damages (“Claims”) whatsoever that I may hereafter have against any or all of them in connection with my Image.