The United Nations launched a contest on Monday, asking college students around the world to write an essay in one of its six official languages on the role of multilingualism in a globalized world.
The contest, "Many Languages, One World," supports international education and multilingualism through the continued study of Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
In the contest, students are asked to write an essay, discussing and debating the value of multilingualism in the broader context of global citizenship - a core principle of the United Nations Academy Impact, said UN officials.
The contest is open to students 18 years of age and above enrolled in a college or university anywhere in the world.
Each submission must be accompanied by a certification from a competent institutional authority attesting that the conditions of the contest have been met and that the entry is the original and unaided work of the participant.
The essays must argue for - or against - the importance of multilingualism. And students should examine whether an emphasis on linguistic diversity contributes to a more harmonious world.
To qualify, the student's native language has to be different from the one in which he or she writes, and different from the principal one at the school.
A panel of international judges, to be invited by the UNAI and ELS Educational Services, will select 10 top winners in each language category who will be invited to New York by ELS to participate in a series of events in June 2014.
The deadline is February 21, 2014.