By Annabel Fen­wick Elliott for MailOnline

and claims her win is ‘a hard responsibility’

Winner: Valerie Hernandez (pictured), a 21-year-old student and model from Carolina, Puerto Rico, won Miss International 2014 at Tuesday's finals, the beauty pageant's 54th event, held in Tokyo, Japan

Win­ner: Valerie Her­nan­dez (pic­tured), a 21-year-old stu­dent and mod­el from Car­oli­na, Puer­to Rico, won Miss Inter­na­tion­al 2014 at Tues­day’s finals, the beau­ty pagean­t’s 54th event, held in Tokyo, Japan

Valerie Her­nan­dez of Puer­to Rico has been crowned Miss Inter­na­tion­al 2014.

The 21-year-old stu­dent and mod­el from Car­oli­na, Puer­to Rico, won her title at last night’s finals, the beau­ty pagean­t’s 54th annu­al event, held at the Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa in Tokyo, Japan.

Dressed in a gold-embell­ished white gown, Ms Her­nan­dez sobbed with joy as she was offi­cial­ly crowned by Miss Inter­na­tion­al 2013 win­ner Bea San­ti­a­go of the Philippines.

Dur­ing the ques­tion-and-answer rounds in the lead-up to the finals, Ms Her­nan­dez stat­ed, accord­ing to the Philip­pine Star: ‘Think­ing about [the] Miss Inter­na­tion­al title, I think it’s not just crown, it’s not just the title, it’s one of the hard­est responsibilities.

‘As Miss Inter­na­tion­al, I want to send a mes­sage of love, peace, and unity.’

Ms Her­nadez cel­e­brat­ed her win flanked by the rest of the top five; first-run­ner up Zulei­ka Suarez of Colom­bia, sec­ond run­ner-up Puni­ka Kul­soon­torn­rut of Thai­land, third run­ner-up Vic­to­ria Too­by of the Unit­ed King­dom and fourth run­ner-up Mil­la Romp­pa­nen of Finland.

On her offi­cial Face­book page, Ms Her­nan­dez claims she was trained in clas­si­cal bal­let at the Escuela de Bel­las Artes de Carolina.

She lists Piz­za Hut and Pro­fes­sion­al Gym as pre­vi­ous employers.

Miss Inter­na­tion­al 2014: Valerie Her­nan­dez, Puer­to RicoFirst Run­ner-up: Zulei­ka Suárez, Colombia

Sec­ond Run­ner-up: Puni­ka Kul­soon­torn­rut, Thailand

Third Run­ner-up: Vic­to­ria Too­by, Unit­ed Kingdom

Fourth Run­ner-up: Mil­la Romp­pa­nen, Finland

Along with its rivals — Miss Uni­verse, Miss World and Miss Supra­na­tion­al con­tests — Miss Inter­na­tion­al is one of the four largest beau­ty pageants in the world.

It was launched in Long Beach, Cal­i­for­nia in 1960, but moved to Japan in 1968, where it is has been held almost every year since.

Those that did make the top ten, but not the top five, are as fol­lows: Argenti­na’s Jose­fi­na José Her­rero, Brazil’s Deise Bení­cio, Indone­si­a’s Elfin Per­ti­wi Rap­pa, Mex­i­co’s Vianey Vázquez and Pana­ma’s Aileen Bernal.

First run­ner-up Ms Suárez, from Colom­bia, won both the Miss Friend­ship and the Miss Best Dress­er spe­cial awards; and Ms Rap­pa from Indone­sia won Best Nation­al Cos­tume. France’s Auri­anne Sina­co­la was award­ed Miss Per­fect Body.

Accord­ing to Miss Inter­na­tion­al, the pageant is aimed at pro­mot­ing ‘Love peace and excite­ment to the world’.

The con­tes­tants are expect­ed to serve as ‘ambas­sadors of peace and beau­ty’, serv­ing ‘ten­der­ness, gen­eros­i­ty, friend­ship, beau­ty, intel­li­gence and a great inter­na­tion­al sensibility.’