The United Nations Office in Uzbekistan announced winners of the 2007 national student essay competition, "The Millennium Development Goals and Youth Contribution to the Development of Uzbekistan".
The contest was organized with the support of United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Population Fund, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, United Nations Volunteers and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. It aimed to raise awareness of university students on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Uzbekistan and to promote the spirit of volunteerism and community service among young people.
Contestants were challenged to write on a wide range of MDG topics, such as gender equality benefits, promotion of health education among young people and elimination of discrimination to people living with HIV/AIDS in Uzbekistan.
More than 100 entries from all regions of the country were received in English, Uzbek and Russian. The most popular topics were gender equality, health education, stigma and discrimination to people living with HIV and adequate use of water resources in Uzbekistan. Out of them, 11 essays were recognized as winning ones and 19 received honourable mention.
All winners received certificates and prizes, such as video and photo cameras, and other notable special prizes from the United Nations Country Team in Uzbekistan.
At the awards ceremony, UNDP Resident Representative/UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan Fikret Akcura noted that youth participation in community life is vital to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in Uzbekistan. He also stressed that the UN Office in Uzbekistan would continue to reach out to youth in rural areas through improving access to Internet technologies and implementing outreach campaigns on the MDGs.