Young Japanese artist wins UN's "Art for Peace" contest

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) presents an award to Haruka Shoji, winner of the United Nations Art for Peace Contest, organized by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs.

A young Japanese artist was on Tuesday presented a certificate and check by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for winning the United Nations "Art for Peace" contest.

The contest, which ran from February through April of this year, provided a platform for children and young people throughout the world to use their creative talent to imagine a world free of nuclear weapons.

More than 6,600 young people from nearly 100 countries took part in the contest which was administered entirely on line.

At an event in New York the UN Secretary-General honoured 17-year-old Haruka Shoji of Japan for her painting called "Someday" in which a young woman looks into the distance to a better future.

"I am presenting this painting to the Permanent Mission of Japan. I know they will treasure it. Haruka said, I quote,' Maybe it is your child or your grandchild or a much later generation who says bye to nuclear weapons. I hope leaders around the world hear this message. I hope they stop to consider what young people have told us through this contest."

(Duration 26")

Mr. Ban promised to do everything possible to make Haruka's painting what he called "a vision of the present not the future" so that she can be the one waving bye to nuclear weapons and entering a safer world.

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