On 23 October 2012, Ambassador Tsuneo Nishida, Permanent Representative of Japan to the United Nations, gave remarks at the awards ceremony for the United Nations Art for Peace Contest. The competition, sponsored by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, asked young artists worldwide to submit artwork under the contest theme “Imagining a World Free of Nuclear Weapons.” By using social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the UNODA garnered a total of 6,623 entries. Two Japanese students won the top prizes: Ms. Haruka Shoji, a Japanese student living in New Jersey, collected the grand prize for “Someday”, while Ms. Ai AYamanaka of Hiroshima earned second place for her piece “Nature”. These pieces, along with the other top compositions, can be viewed here:
United Nations Press Release 27 June 2012
United Nations Art for Peace Contest 2012
The Secretary-General opened the event by presenting Ms. Shoji with her prize and certificate, while noting the importance of youth’s involvement in the UN’s goals in achieving disarmament and non-proliferation. (The Secretary-General’s remarks can be found here.) Upon accepting the award, Ms. Shoji expressed gratitude to the organizers for the award. The copy of her work was presented from the Secretary-General to Ambassador Nishida, who expressed his gratitude for the honor.
In his remarks, Ambassador Nishida congratulated the winners of the competition and welcomed the use of young talent and imagination to raise awareness among the next generation in spreading the message of peace. He stated particular importance Japan attaches to the area of disarmament and non-proliferation, and welcomed the strong ties of cooperation Japan has enjoyed with the United Nations to promote this agenda. Ambassador Nishida also expressed Japan’s intent to remain active in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation education.
The contest parallels Japan’s efforts to promote the value of disarmament and non-proliferation education. In this vein, Japan, in cooperation with the UN, launched a social media “Poetry for Peace” contest last autumn and hosted the Global Forum on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education in Nagasaki this August. For more information on these events, please see the links below.
UN announces “Poetry for Peace” contest,
featuring testimonies of Hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors): Contest Results
"Global Forum on Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Education" Organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan and United Nations University