The winners of the Rio+20 Global Youth Music Contest were at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development

The winners of the Rio+20 Global Youth Music Contest attended the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012. The overall winner, the choir Santo Amaro de Oeiras from Portugal who won in the children category with the song “Meu Planeta Azul” (My Blue Planet) along with Ms. Milena Paraschiv and Mr. Radu Popescu from Romania who won in the youth category with the song “Open Your Eyes” have been in Rio to share their message for a better world through their winning entries with all participants to the UN conference.

The contest was organized by the International Association for the Advancement of Innovative Approaches to Global Challenges (IAAI) with support from a team of more than 100 global youth organizations, leaders and volunteers. A group of over 50 Regional and National Coordinators have supported the contest as volunteers and reached over 5000 global youth ! The aim was to mobilize youth from all over the world to use music as a powerful tool to activate people around the achievement of a real sustainable world.

By the deadline on the 18th of March, 313 entries from 40 participating countries were received, coming from Kenya, China, Cameroon, Trinidad and Tobago, Rwanda, Seychelles, Burkina Faso, Spain, Columbia, USA, Nigeria, Germany, Romania, Australia, Gambia, etc. These amazing songs prove that youth don’t care about borders when comes the time to address global challenges. United despite their diversity, the participants committed themselves to ensure the sustainability of our mother earth through their music, while they decided to engage themselves in creating the change they believe in. These entries bring those who take the time to watch them in a wonderful world where a real sustainable world is possible !

The winners in each category of the contest were chosen through an online voting process from March 19th to May 19th with over 250.000 online votes registered. The songs which received the top among of votes won the contest and their authors have been confirmed to perform and receive their awards at the Rio+20 UN Conference as stated in the contest rules. The winning songs have called the United Nations system and the world citizens on the role we all have to play to ensure a sustainable planet for all by mobilizing our power and energy. Global youth has a key role to play here and therefore they need to be heard and empowered.

Milena Paraschiv one of the winners said “This is one of the best experiences I have ever had and I think it’s great that we could send our musical message to so many people. And I am really glad that we were able to meet so many people from diverse places and make friends. It reminds me of the song by John Lennon, Imagine all the people living in peace. It’s great to be in Rio.

The contest was also supported in its development by the Commonwealth Youth Climate Network (CYCN) which also collaborated with the organizers at Rio+20. The Global Coordinator of the initiative being Mr. Jean Paul Brice Affana, a youth leader from Cameroon. Some of the National and Regional Coordinators of the contest were also coming from Commonwealth member states, such as Mr. Chola Siwamza from Zambia, Mr. Simon Matafai from New Zealand, Ms. Anam Gill from Pakistan, Mr. Garry T. Perry from Trinidad and Tobago, among others.

The winners have performed on June 23rd, 2012 at the ’Concert for a New Earth’ along with other artists such as Playing for Change, Milton and Maria Gadu, two very famous musicians in Brazil. The concert was organized by Peace Lights at the Teatro Fundicao Progresso in Rio de Janeiro. Photos of that concert could be accessed on Facebook at and the videos on YouTube at:

To listen to the messages of global youth on The Future We Want and to ’’Let the music talk, let the rhythm play and let the world know what the youth have to say !‘’, go to the Facebook page where you will be able to access all the photos at: and for the videos go to YouTube at:

By , July 10, 2012 7:32 pm

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