[Deadline Extended] 2023 Photo Contest and Essay Competition of UCLG ASPAC


The United Cities and Local Governments Asia-Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) is the largest regional section of United Cities Local Government (UCLG). Its members – representing cities and local governments and their associations across Asia and the Pacific – have set a high priority on implementing and achieving the SDGs by 2030 and have been working with partners from around the world to accelerate its localisation.

As a part of the 9th UCLG ASPAC Congress, a 2023 Photo Contest and Essay Competition will be held to promote the event and encourage economic development post-pandemic era. The competition is open to the public and the participants are requested to submit their entries virtually/online. A board of jury will review the open call submissions and select the winner for every category.

2023 Congress of UCLG ASPAC

UCLG ASPAC organises its 9th Congress in Yiwu, China from 13 to 15 November 2023. The theme of the Congress is Advancing Balanced Economic Development for Asia and the Pacific.  The Congress will be attended by governors, mayors, senior official of cities and local governments and their strategic partners, representatives of the UN bodies, business companies, non-governmental organisations, academe etc.

Photo Contest

UCLG ASPAC invites the public to participate in the 2023 Photo Contest following the successful photo contest held in 2021??. Under the main theme of the 9th UCLG ASPAC Congress “Advancing Balanced Economic Development for Asia and the Pacific,” the Photo Contest will have four (4) categories with 1 (one) winner for every category and one (1) Favourite Winner. These are:

  1. Trade and Industrial Advancement Post-pandemic Era
    This category seeks photos depicting the growth of economic development.
  2. Youth Involvement in Development
    This category seeks photos depicting the youth’s direct or indirect involvement in economic development.
  3. Promoting Innovative Local Development
    The pandemic has affected almost every aspect of our daily lives. In one way or another, this condition has ignited the spark of creativity among people as they adapt their daily routines to the new normal. This category seeks photos portraying the ‘creativity’ of the realm of economic development.
  4. Rural-urban Interconnectivity
    This category seeks photos illustrating the importance of rural and urban areas and their linkages in the context of economic development.
  5. Favourite Award
    There will also be 1 (one) winner for Favourite Award. The winner of this category will be decided by the voting of the 5 (five) shortlisted photos on the platform/link provided in the UCLG ASPAC’s website (will be provided later). The voting will be conducted by the public. Photos that already won from other categories will not be included in this Award.


  • The photo/s must be original, created, and/or taken by the participant.
  • The submitted photo/s must be free of any binding agreement with a third party that might hold UCLG ASPAC liable for payment to any individual or entity in connection with the images’ copyright or their use.
  • The submitted photo/s must not contain any symbol that represents any sensitive political issues.
  • The applying participants accept the stipulations of the rules and regulations wholly and absolutely.
  • UCLG ASPAC reserves the right to review the suitability of the participants to the criteria and to rule in any dispute that may arise at any time on this issue.


  • All photos must be submitted via email to info@uclg-aspac.org with the subject: UCLG ASPAC Photo Contest_[Name of Applicants] no later than Sunday, 8 October 2023 at 23.59 PM (Jakarta Time/GMT+7).
    (E.g., Email Subject: UCLG ASPAC Photo Contest_John Doe).
  • Each participant (identified by the email address and short bio provided) may submit a max of 3 (three) photos only.
  • Please provide the description of each photo in the body email (Max. 100 words/photo).
  • Please enclose a Short Bio (Max. 450 words). This will not be provided to the Board of Jury.
  • Photo description and participant bio must be written in English.
  • The photo/s should be submitted in high quality (Min. 10 MB) and in JPG format.
  • If the submitted images include minors or models/subjects incapable of explicitly consenting to being photographed, the applying participant may be required to provide written consent of the subject’s parents/custodians to use the image, according to circumstances.


Each category will have one winner. Each winner will receive 500 USD and a certificate. Winners from the Photo Contest will be invited virtually to the Winners Gathering during the 9th UCLG ASPAC Congress Meeting.

Essay Competition

UCLG ASPAC calls young professionals and journalists to join the first ever Essay Competition. It has two (2) Categories of Essayist: Youth from any nationalities aged 15-25 and Accredited/Professional journalists. Aligned with the main theme of the Congress “Advancing Balanced Economic Development for Asia and the Pacific,” the essayists can choose the following five (5) sub-topics:

  1. Industrial Upgrading
  2. Trade Promotion
  3. Youth Entrepreneurship
  4. Child-Friendliness
  5. Rural Revitalisation


The following awards will be given in the Youth’s category and Journalist’s category respectively:

  • A prize of USD 750, USD 600, and USD 500 for the first, second and third winners under the Journalist Category.
  • A prize of USD 500, USD 400, and USD 300 for the first, second and third winners under the Youth Category.

Winners will be invited virtually to the Winners Gathering during the 9th UCLG ASPAC Congress Meeting.


  1. Essays may be submitted by anyone up to 25 years old (as of September 30, 2023) for the Youth Category.
  2. There is no minimum age requirement for the Journalists Category. However, only journalists accredited by their Press Card could join the essay competition.
  3. Entrants can only choose one of the five themes mentioned above.
  4. Essays must be original/originally written by the entrant. Therefore, all sources must be cited and referred to the respective part in the essay as all entries will be tested for plagiarism.
  5. Only one essay entry is allowed.
  6. Essays must be unpublished.
  7. Contents of the essay must adhere to the ‘One China Policy’ and must not contain or represent any sensitive political issues.
  8. If you have any questions, please refer to the FAQs section.


  1. Essays must be max. 1000 words in English. Essays must be typed, with your name, institution (such as university, if entrants are still attending university), chosen theme and essay title included at the top of the first page.
  2. There are no rules regarding formatting (font style, size, line space, etc.). However, essays must be submitted in either MS Word (DOC/DOCX) or PDF format.
    *Note: Your name and essay title are not included in the word count limit.
  3. Your essay entries must be submitted via e-mail to info@uclg-aspac.org with the e-mail subject: UCLG ASPAC Essay Competition_[Name of Applicants] no later than Sunday, 8 October 2023 at 23:59 PM (Jakarta Time/GMT+7).
  4. For journalists submitting their essays, please also attach a file of your Press Card in the e-mail.
    (E.g. Email Subject: UCLG ASPAC Essay Competition_John Doe)

Please find the attached document below for comprehensive and detailed information regarding the photo contest and essay competition.