On the occasion of the special session of the General Assembly on the world drug problem Nane Annan will present Certificates of Merit to the winners of a painting competition in which young people from around the world participated. The ceremony will take place at l p.m. on l0 June in the lobby of the General Assembly. Representatives of the media are invited and encouraged to attend.
The United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and the organization International Paint Pals have co-sponsored an exhibit of 120 paintings by young people seeking to communicate their concern about drug abuse to the world community. These paintings chosen from over l,000 submitted by school children from many different countries are of high quality and convey a strong and dramatic anti-drug message.
Prizes are being awarded to the top four: Vania Matvecv, age 9, from the Russian Federation; Gabriela Azeredo Rocha, l0, from Brazil; Pronthip Lertrattanapron, 9, from Thailand; and Marc Backhouse, 17, from Namibia. The cash awards -- totalling $2,500 -- will be shared equally by the winner and his or her school, and presented by the United Nations Representative in each country. As it is not possible for the winners to come to New York, the permanent representatives of the countries in which they live will accept a Certificate of Merit on their behalf.
An additional 10 artists -- from Atlanta, Lithonia and Decatur, United States; Libusza, Poland; Moscow; Jamshsdpur, India; Bangkok; and Okahandja, Namibia -- ranging in age from 6 to l7 years old will receive Honourable Mentions.
International Paint Pals is a programme of the Youth Art Connection/Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and was started in 1995 by the Atlanta Project of the Carter Presidential Center in conjunction with the 1996 Olympic Games. Located in downtown Atlanta, its gallery provides young artists with an exclusive place to show their artwork. Their international activities include exchange programmes for artwork, artists, teachers and administrators.
The UNDCP is the arm of the United Nations responsible for coordinating and supporting global efforts to tackle the drug problem, covering illicit drug trafficking, supply and demand reduction. Representatives from more than 150 countries, including heads of State and government are expected at the special session.
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