To promote tourism, goodwill and cultural style, the United Nations Pageant seeks inner beauty, unlike most pageants that typically focus on external beauty, glitz and glamour. The international event was held in Kingston, Jamaica, earlier this month. Contestants came from Africa, India, South America, the United States and the Caribbean and were scored on inner beauty, how they related with others and their support of community services. This was an opportunity for community service and cultural expression.

“Unknown to the contestants, we had judges socialize and mingle with them during the early days of the pageant,” explained Leon Williams, the United Nations Pageant president. “The judges were revealed later on day three of the pageant. They also participated in activities with the contestants throughout the week.

“The winners become ambassadors who foster goodwill and help those less fortunate. Respectively, we also looked at contributions each contestant has to offer in their home community. Humanitarianism is a strong indicator of good character,” Williams concluded.

Tekay Designs, a sponsor and official fashion designer of the pageant, launched a special pageant dress line titled Crown Collection. The line was showcased during the fashion show segment of the contest, and the winners of the Miss and Mr. United Nations 2014 wore couture Tekay designs. Tekay offered gift certificates worth a total of $6,000 among three winners. “We retail at Shades of Africa boutique in Kingston, Jamaica. The company is seeking opportunities to launch their pageant collection in the Caribbean. I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to meet like‑minded individuals of diverse cultures from around the world and form lasting relationships,” stated Kimma Wreh, creative director of Tekay Designs.

From Nigeria, Precious Chikwendu won the title of Miss United Nations 2014. During the ceremony, Chikwendu announced, “ My mission is to out-reach to people who want, yet cannot afford, an education but can use their talents to make a difference in the world.” She plans to work with schools that are involved in environmental rehabilitation.

The United Nations Pageant brings together representatives from a wide range of cultures from across the globe. The pageant’s principle objective is to identify and showcase the best tourism and goodwill ambassadors. Those who have skills, talents and character are best suited to promote their respective countries in furthering tourism, goodwill and cultural expression.