Introduction to the UN Day Speech Contest 2015

24 October 2015 marked the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN. The UN Day English Speech Contest 2015 was organized by UN Offices located in the Republic of Korea to commemorate the special occasion. The event was open to high school and university students of all nationalities studying in the country, and it served a platform for the young people to share their thoughts about the past, present and future of UN. The aim of the speech contest was not to simply assess the young people’s English proficiency, but to give them an opportunity to speak out their original thoughts and innovative ideas with regards to the progress being made on UN’s priorities and the way forward for the UN.

The speech contest had a preliminary round, which involved having the applicants submit the video recording of their speeches on a given topic in the month of September. Out of some 150 preliminary entries, a reviewing committee made up of UN staff selected 35 high school and 10 university students after a rigorous evaluation process.

On Thursday, 22 October, the UN Day English Speech Contest Final was held at the G-Tower in Songdo, Incheon, Republic of Korea. The finalists spoke about a world issue they chose, such as the current refugee crisis, migration, the issue of child labor embedded in a chocolate bar they so easily consume, climate change and sustainable development, and presented how the UN should respond to those problems. The heads of UN offices who evaluated their speeches as judges, including ENEA Office Director Kilaparti Ramakrishna, were amazed by the depth of their knowledge and the amount of research and practice they had put into their speeches, and congratulated them on their outstanding performance and achievements.

Scoring Rubric

Preliminary  Score(Weight) Final Score(Weight)
Relevance to the Topic: Clarity of ideas & presentation 20 Message :
Clear, persuasive, and meaningful message
Creativity, logical reasoning
40 Content & Facts:
Substantiation of the message with relevant facts and accurate information
Creativity, logical reasoning
30 Style & Language:
Concise and persuasive linguistic style, flow and grammar
Rich vocabulary, grammar, etc.
10 Delivery:
Effective delivery of the speech

Panel of Judges

  1. High School Segment
    • Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Director, UNESCAP-ENEA
    • Miah MiHyung Park, Head of Office, International Organization for Migration (IOM)
    • Sang Mi Lee, Public Partnerships Specialist, UNICEF
    • Andrew McElroy, Public Information Officer, UNISDR
  2. College Segment
    • Dirk Hebecker, Representative, UNHCR Seoul
    • Anne Marie Sloth Carlsen, Director, UNDP Seoul Policy Centre
    • Joao Ribeiro, Head of Office, UNCITRAL-RCAP


  1. High School Segment
Award Recipient School
Ban Ki-moon Award Sojung LEE Seoul Guahm High School
Eunyoung SONG Kongju National University High School
Runners-up Incheon Mayor’s Awards Hanseul CHO Hana Academy Seoul
Environment Minister’s Awards Ye Rin BOO Daeil Foreign Languages High School
Foreign Minister’s Awards Gayoung LEE Cheongshim International Academy

2.  College Segment

Award Recipient School
Ban Ki-moon Award Seungbeom RYU Ajou University
Jeesoo LIM Yonsei University
Runners-up Incheon Mayor’s Awards Daniel FOULKES Hannam University
Environment Minister’s Awards Namkyu GO Yonsei University
Foreign Minister’s Awards Soeun PARK Korea University


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