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UNSCR 1540 International Student Essay Contest

UNSCR 1540 International Student Essay Contest

The numbers of terrorists and extremist groups are growing. Many are interested in developing or obtaining Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) – nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons. That makes it even more important that we control equipment, materials, technologies, and knowledge that can be used to make and deliver WMDs.

The international community needs imaginative strategies to stymie the proliferation of WMDs, and you can help by sharing your best ideas with the U.N. Security Council. Note that this is in support of the U.N. Security Council’s 1540 Committee, a subsidiary organ of the Security Council. More information here


“Your ideas on how to prevent the proliferation of the world’s most dangerous weapons”

Your government (pick a particular country) is developing a five-year action plan for the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1540. Your government may be in a position to help other states implement this resolution or may need to request help in implementing this resolution.

You are advising your government on what it needs to do, why, and by when in order to implement this resolution and decrease WMD risks. In no more than 2,500 words, develop a five-year action plan that includes priorities and timelines. Make sure to include ways to measure success.

More information here


U.N. Security Council


The first- and second-place winners will get a trip to Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, later this year to present his/her ideas at an awards ceremony to representatives of the U.N. Security Council and will receive awards of $2,000 and $1,000, respectively, from the Washington Foreign Law Society. Additional honorees may participate via audio/video and will receive $500 awards. The Stimson Center will publish the top essays. The universities and professors of these top students will also be recognized at the awards ceremony and in the publication.


August 5, 2016 (11:59 p.m Eastern Time)


  • Students must be at least 18 years of age to enter the contest. By submitting an essay, students attest to being enrolled in an undergraduate or advanced degree program (e.g., graduate/law/business/medical school) during the calendar year 2016.
  • The name of the institution and the name of an institution official (e.g., a professor or dean) must be provided to verify enrollment. Students may apply individually or as a team.
  • If submitting as a team, the submitter will be deemed to represent the team and will be responsible for the distribution of the prize money and the designation of the individual from the team to present at the award ceremony. All team members will be recognized in the publication of winning essays.
  • All work must be the students’ own and not previously published.
  • The name of a supporting professor and his contact information may be provided and would enhance the essay’s standing in the evaluations. The professor must be a current full-time, part-time or adjunct professor; a professor may not lend his name to support more than three submissions.
  • For a Sponsoring Professor/Sponsor: By submitting or supporting a student or team essay, you agree to be recognized if your student or team is a winner. You may review the  essay for clarity, typographical errors, thoroughness and formatting, per the contest requirements. However, you must certify that the students’ work you submit is the students’ own work.
  • Employees, contractors, or summer interns of the Stimson Center, U.N. Office of Disarmament Affairs, and the U.N. Security Council are not eligible to participate in this contest. The essay becomes the property of the Stimson Center once submitted. By entering this contest, you agree to have your photo shared and your essay published if you are among the top 10 winners.
  • Contest Deadline: Entries must be received by 11:59 p.m Eastern Time on August 5, 2016.Winners will be announced in early September.
  • The essay must be submitted via email to in PDF format to be considered.
  • The essay must be in English. It must not exceed 2,500 words and must include an introductory summary section of less than 250 words that highlights the most important aspects of your plan.
  • In the pdf file name, do include the name of the country you have chosen to represent in your essay and the date of your submission so the file name appears Country_daymonthyear (e.g., United States_23June2016).
  • Do not include any identifying marks such as your name, your professor’s name, or your institution on any of the essay pages.
  • Please number your pages.
  • Essays must be typed, single-spaced, in 12-point Times New Roman or an equivalent font with a one-inch margin on all sides of the page.
  • Any citations should be included as endnotes and presented according to the Chicago Manual of Style.
  • The title and bibliography do not count toward the maximum word count of 2,500 words. The introductory summary does count toward the word-count limit. Do not use the maximum number of words if you feel you can convey your thoughts effectively with fewer words. You may choose to focus on the most important parts of the proposed plan and note areas that need to be further considered to complete the plan.
  • In the email you send to with your essay attached and only in the email (not on your essay), put:
    – Your Full Name
    – The file name of your essay with the name of the country you have chosen to represent in your essay: Country_daymonthyear (e.g., United States_23June2016)
    – Your email and phone numbers
    – Name of your school and institution and its city and country (e.g., NUST Business School, National University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan)
    – Your standing in the school in September 2016 (e.g., first-year law student, second-year undergraduate student with a major in chemistry, second-year medical student)
    – The name, title, email, and phone number of an official to verify enrollment. If you have a sponsoring professor, please provide his/her name, title, email, and phone number.


Note that is for submissions only. If you have questions, contact


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About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.

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