A photography competition for budding photojournalists, launched to help young people overcome international language barriers, has been praised by the United Nations (UN).

The Shoot Nations competition attracted 1,500 entries and was aimed at people aged 24 and under.

Fred Doulton, from the UN?s youth programme, said: ?Showcasing young people?s ideas on governance through the Shoot Nations project will further help young people to be heard and seen.?

The project challenged entrants to focus on issues that affect their lives and was organised in conjunction with Children?s charity Plan.

Issues portrayed included disability, religion and ecology.

?This is not just about taking good photographs ? it?s about getting children interested and involved in decision-making and government at every level,? said Plan project co-ordinator Hamish Mackenzie.

The top 48 photos went on show at the UN headquarters in New York yesterday, to coincide with International Youth Day.

The overall winner was 16-year-old Maher Elnaggar from Egypt, but among the judge?s favourite images was one by 24-year-old Ryan Bonner from Salisbury in Wiltshire. He won the best ?photo brief? category.

Organisers said photography was seen as the ?best means for participants to express their views and concerns to surmount language barriers?.

The pictures are due to appear in a one-day show at Tate Modern in London on 15 September and at Southwark Cathedral in the capital from 15-22 September.

For information about the charity, Plan, visit www.plan-uk.org

Picture credit (below): Maher Elnaggar

Maher Elnaggar

Picture credt (below): Ryan Bonner

Ryan Bonner

Picture credit (below): Catrina Petrovici

Catrina Petrovici

Picture credit (below): Barbara Anastacio

Barbara Anastacio