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7 May 2010

United Nations Information Centres in Europe Launch Advertising Competition Against Poverty

Winner to receive 5,000 Euro prize from EU Spanish Presidency

VIENNA, 7 May (UN Information Service) - "Unleash your creativity against poverty" is the theme of a Europe-wide advertisement competition launched today by the United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC), in partnership with the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) Vienna, United Nations Information Centres around Europe and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as part of a Europe-wide campaign to promote the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The heart of the campaign is the website Open to citizens of 48 European countries, the competition invites everyone - individuals, but also advertisement professionals to take part by submitting print entries.

"With a view to the September Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in New York, the aim of this web-based campaign is to raise awareness of the MDGs amongst European citizens, create a common project for all UN information centres on the European continent and to tap into the extraordinary pool of creativity in Europe," said Afsane Bassir-Pour, Director of UNRIC in launching the campaign website.

The winner will receive a cash prize of 5,000 Euros from the Spanish Government at a special award ceremony to take place in Madrid in early September prior to the MDG summit in New York.

The Spanish Secretary of State for International Cooperation, Soraya Rodriguez Ramos, points out that a strong commitment to fulfill the MDGs by 2015 is one of the priorities for the Spanish EU presidency. "The UN's MDG campaign is about making sure all Europeans understand that those goals belong to everyone, the ad competition is an excellent way to mobilize our citizens," she added.

While the competition is open to European citizens and residents, everyone can be part of the campaign by voting for the finalists. The competition is open until 30 June 2010, followed by a selection process that will narrow entries to 30 finalists, with 15 selected through popular vote and 15 by the organizers. The winners will be chosen from the 30 finalists by a jury of prominent European advertising and marketing experts as well as artists, designers and UN communication experts, including Jacques Séguéla, the Vice Chairman of the international advertisement group Havas.

"If this initiative changes the situation of only one person living on the razor's edge of poverty it is worth doing," said jury member Gary Knight, the American photographer. Other jury members are designer Piet Boon, the Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela and United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Kiyo Akasaka.

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For more details - including the terms and conditions - and to enter the competition, please visit:

For additional information you may also contact:

At UNIS Vienna:

Sonja Wintersberger
Deputy to the Director, UNIS Vienna
Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-3430


Afsane Bassir-Pour
Director, United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC)
Telephone: (+32-2) 788-8450


Arni Snaevarr
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC)
Telephone: (+32-2) 788-8467