This annual essay contest is organized in an effort to harness the energy, creativity and initiative of the world's youth in promoting a culture of peace and sustainable development. It also aims to inspire society to learn from the young minds and to think about how each of us can make a difference in the world.
*This program is an activity of the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).
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The Goi Peace Foundation
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan
Japanese National Commission for UNESCO, Japan Private High School Federation
Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education, Japan Broadcasting Corporation, Nikkei Inc.
FELISSIMO CORPORATION, SEIKO HOLDINGS CORPORATION
Essay Contest 2018 Flyer (PDF)
Past Winning Essays
Q1Are there any exceptions to the age limit for participating in the contest?
A1No, you must be 25 years old or younger as of June 15, 2018, which is the entry deadline date. That means you must be born after June 15, 1993. On the other hand, there is no minimum age requirement.
Q2Is there a fee for participating in this contest?
A2No, participation is free of charge.
Q3Do I have to be Japanese or Asian to join the contest?
A3A3: No, all nationalities can participate from anywhere in the world.
Q4My essay is a little over 700 words. Is it acceptable?
A4No, essays must be 700 words or less in order to qualify. However, the cover page and essay title are excluded from the word count. There is no minimum word count.
Q5Are the title and cover page included in the word count limit?
A5No, the 700 word count limit is for the body of the essay only.
Q6Do I need a cover page for my essay submitted online?
A6No, a cover page is only required for entries submitted by postal mail. For online entries, all required information is submitted through the registration form, and therefore, you do not need to include a cover page in your essay file.
Q7Can I give any title to my essay?
A7Yes, you can give your essay an original title as long as the content is in line with the theme.
Q8Is there a specific format for the essay (font style, size, line space, etc.)?
A8There are no particular rules regarding formatting. However, your essay file should be submitted in either MS Word(DOC/DOCX) or PDF format.
Q9Can I quote from books or websites? If so, where should I write the reference?
A9If you use quotations, please include the reference at the bottom of the essay. The reference should not be included in the word count.
Q10Can I add photos, images, or my biography to my essay?
A10No. Please send your essay only.
Q11Can I submit my essay via email?
A11No, we do not accept entries by email. Please submit your essay either by postal mail or through the online registration page: http://goipeace-essaycontest.org/* This link will be activated soon.
Q12Can I submit a hand-written essay?
A12Yes, we accept hand-written essays. You can either send it by postal mail or submit a scanned PDF copy through the online registration page: http://goipeace-essaycontest.org/* This link will be activated soon.
Q13Can I submit more than one essay?
A13Yes, you can submit more than one essay as long as the contents are different. They can also be written in different languages. Please use the same account to submit multiple essays online.
Q14Can I submit my essay in my native language?
A14Essays are accepted in English, French, Spanish, German or Japanese only, since these are the only languages the contest organizers and judges can read. However, we can accept essays written in other languages, if they are accompanied by translations in one of the accepted languages.
Q15Can we co-write and submit one essay as a team?
A15No. Essays must be written by one person. Co-authored essays are not accepted.
We have the United Nations, UNESCO, the Global Peace Foundation, the International Peace Institute, and many more organizations that strive to bring peace to a constantly chaotic world. Despite innumerable organizations existing that tackle catastrophes and injustices, the world seems as troubled as ever. Why is that? I believe it is because we are not removing the root of the problem, which is inner turmoil among the masses, and specifically in people of power. With the practice of meditation, this inner turmoil could be settled in the general population and ultimately among people of influence. We have been essentially cutting off the sharp thorns of a plant, instead of uprooting it. Trimming a problem down to size allows it to grow back and to haunt us again. I see meditation, as a vehicle of inner transformation, to be the primary instrument to obtain world peace.
But first, we should define what meditation is. Meditation, at its most fundamental level, is the absence of thought, and complete awareness. Why is this state important to achieve in our present world? If we believe in negative thoughts, we not only set ourselves on a dangerous path of self-destruction, but also the destruction of others (Firestone, Lisa).
So, integrating meditation into each society as a primary way of balance and anti-destruction will keep world calamities at bay. How exactly? All the decisions relating to the taking of people’s lives due to hatred, all the ideas of corruption, all the campaigns to take advantage of poor people, and all local crimes stem from negative thinking. With the daily practice of meditation, these negative thoughts either dissipate or are not heeded (Beyond The Mind).
There has been controlled studies on the effects of meditation, particularly of meditation centered on the state of awareness without the engagement of thoughts, that show that people can easily and profoundly be affected by meditation. According to the website Beyond The Mind, the largest and most professional study on the positive effects of meditation was done by Dr. Ramesh Manocha: “Dr. Ramesh Manocha is an Australian GP and researcher based at the Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School, Sydney University, where he coordinates the Meditation Research Programme. For the past 15 years, he has conducted clinical trials and scientific investigations into the practical applications of meditation. As a result, he is now recognised as a leading authority in this field” (Beyond The Mind). The studies concluded that people’s stress levels dropped significantly, and that negative thinking was largely reduced during and after meditation sessions. In addition, ailments such as asthma and ADD were profoundly curbed and even eliminated. If these effects were replicated throughout the world, the world would know a newfound peace.
From the disappearance of negative thoughts and garnered balance, to healing physical and psychological ailments, meditation, if practiced on a global scale, could be the solution to world calamities. Though it seems to be an innocuous practice, the transformation of the general public, and most essentially, of people in power, could bring about a new era of peace. Science backs this claim up, and so do countless people’s experiences with overcoming their negativities. Why not make this a global initiative, especially in light of global organizations having ultimately no solution to the ensuing chaos of the world.
Firestone, Lisa. “How Negative Thoughts Are Ruining Your Life.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 20 Aug. 2014, www.psychologytoday.com/blog/compassion-matters/201408/how-negative-thoughts-are-ruining-your-life.
“What am I aiming to experience?” Beyond The Mind, www.beyondthemind.com/how-to-meditate/what-am-i-aiming-to-experience/.
“Dr Ramesh Manocha’s Doctoral Thesis.” Beyond The Mind, www.beyondthemind.com/research/dr-ramesh-manochas-doctoral-thesis/.
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