July 28th, 2017
ELS Educational Services, in conjunction with the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), invited 60 students to attend the Many Languages, One World® Global Youth Forum at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, from 16-26 July, 2017.
The students presented action plans at the United Nations General Assembly on 21 July, 2017. 2017 is the fourth year that ELS Educational Services and the UNAI have organized the Many Languages, One World essay contest and Global Youth Forum. This year welcomed Northeastern University as the host of the Many Languages, One World Global Youth Forum and the sponsor and organizer of the Northeastern University Global Youth Symposium.
The Many Languages, One World contest challenged college and university students around the globe to write an essay examining global citizenship, cultural understanding and the role that the multilingual ability can have in fostering both. Entrants submitted essays in one of the six official United Nations languages, which could be neither the student’s first language nor in his/her primary language of instruction. More than 6,000 individuals from 170 countries took part in the initial phase of the contest. The official languages of the United Nations are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
At the Global Youth Forum, students were organized into groups based on the languages of their essays, and were asked to form action plans related to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. On 21 July, 2017, students presented those action plans in the United Nations General Assembly. The presentations were broadcast live in the six official languages on WebTV.UN.org. While in Manhattan, winners visited the One World Trade Center Observatory and Times Square.
Winners also attended the Northeastern University Global Youth Symposium, sponsored and organized by Northeastern University, where they attended educational symposiums and visit notable sights throughout Boston including the Freedom Trail and Fenway Park.
Of the 60 winners, nine were unable travel to the event due to issues with obtaining visas or prior commitments. Those students were invited to share a video, spoken in the language of their essay, to be shown at the United Nations in lieu of their speeches.
The event was promoted via social media using the hashtag #MLOW2017.