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UP law student bags Brilliance Prize at UN University int’l essay tilt

/ 01:14 AM January 13, 2018

University of the Philippines graduating law student and development advocate Chad Patrick Osorio bagged the “Brilliance Prize” in the 33rd Eisaku Sato essay competition organized by the United Nations University in Tokyo, Japan.

Osorio, the award body’s first Filipino winner, received ¥200,000 (P89,000) cash award.

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He shared the Brilliance Prize with three more recipients including Ian Karusigarira, a PhD student from Tokyo; Masami Utsumi, and Saki Mizoroki, a University of California Berkeley graduate.

Osorio said the contest’s theme focused on the world’s rapid demographic changes and the possible solutions the UN and other international organizations could implement.

Osorio said his winning piece “Transforming Momentum into Propulsion: Harnessing the Demographic Tsunami” talked about the rise of populist governments, widening economic inequalities and the problem of international refugees.

He offered as solution the maximization of the use of information and communication technology (ICTs) in (initiating) development and changes in international policy mindset.

Last year, the Harvard University put up Osorio’s work in a one-year exhibit at Harvard Law School, Osorio said.

“I submitted in March last year and I forgot all about it. It just makes me glad to win this award. I hope I can live up to be an inspiration the way Prime Minister Eisaku Sato has been when it comes to international relations,” Osorio said in a statement.

“I’m just super surprised and happy,” he added.

The Philippine Embassy was set to receive the award for Osorio in Tokyo last Oct 23.

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Osorio, also a current research associate at the Institute of International Legal Studies, UP Law Center, said he drew his ideas for the piece from his professional experiences as former legal intern for the United Nations Khmer Rouge Trials in Cambodia and researcher for Asian Development Bank, and from his several volunteer engagements.

Eisaku Sato was former Japanese Prime Minister and the only Japanese Nobel laureate.

The essay competition was established in 1980 and has been held annually except from 1986 to 1989. The award is funded by Sato’s Nobel Peace Prize.

In the past six years, the youngest winner was 19 years old, and the oldest, 77.

Several past winners are graduate students, but some stood out, including an Administrative Vice-Minister of Defense in Japan, Osorio said.

The contest is open to everyone.

Osorio, a veteran at national and international competition, is also a national essayist awardee of the National Historical Institute.

He has previously won several photo contests including those sponsored by the American Embassy and the British Council.

Aside from writing, Osorio also served as  speaker in conferences tackling pressing issues in the fields of international law and development in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan.

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