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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

UPU News : Children asked to write to new UN Secretary-General

08.11.2016 - The UPU has announced the theme of its 2017 International Letter-Writing Competition, asking children to: “Imagine you are an advisor to the new United Nations Secretary-General; which world issue would you help him tackle first and how would you advise him to solve it?”

 The 2017 competition will allow young people to share their views on priorities for international development (Photo: Carissa Rogers)

 The topic gives children a chance to share their vision for international development on the heels of the arrival of new UN Secretary-General designate, António Guterres, who will take office in January 2017.

At the helm of the UN, Guterres will carry on the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which guide the UN development agenda until 2030. Writers are invited to draw on the SDGs for inspiration if they wish. 

Past competitions have shown that despite their young age, participants are interested in voicing their thoughts on global affairs. 

A prime example is 2016 competition winner, Nguyen Thi Thu Trang, a 15-year-old girl from Viet Nam, who touched the jury with her composition in the voice of Alan Kurdi. Kurdi became a symbol of the Syrian refugee crisis after a photo of his lifeless body ashore a Turkish beach was circulated across international media. 

The 2016 competition asked children to write a letter to their 45-year-old self, drawing participation from almost 1 million entrants in national heats across 64 UPU member countries.
Participating countries organize the competition on their territories before sending their national winning entries to the international heat held by the UPU. 

More details on the 2017 theme and rules,  as well as the winners of the 2016 competition, are available here.

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