- On 19 May 2023, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Hiroshima Organization for Global Peace, co-hosted the G7 Summit Partners’ Programme event, Youth Symposium on Peace.
- The symposium aimed to create momentum for youth and students to think about peace and take action to tackle global issues.
24 May 2023, Hiroshima, Japan – The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Hiroshima Organization for Global Peace, co-hosted the G7 Summit Partners’ Programme event, Youth Symposium on Peace, on 19 May.
The symposium was organized to draw on the G7 Summit and create momentum for youth and students – leaders of the next generation – to think about peace and take action to tackle global issues.
Mrs Yuko Kishida of Japan and four other spouses partners of G7 and European Commission leaders took part in the event with approximately 100 students from Hiroshima high schools and universities, including alumni of the UNITAR Youth Ambassador Programme. Five guest speakers also spoke about their organizations’ initiatives to promote peace in Japan.
At the start of the symposium, Mihoko Kumamoto, Director of the UNITAR Division for Prosperity and the Hiroshima Office, addressed the students, saying,
I hope that this event will inspire you to take action on global issues, starting from what you can do now.
In response to the questions from the special guests, the students voiced their opinions, saying that “peace is about everyone wishing for each other’s happiness” and that “it is important to send out the message from Hiroshima that there should be no war and that no one should be harmed."
Mrs Britta Ernst, the first lady of the Federal Republic of Germany, asked whether it was normal for the families in Hiroshima to regularly talk about peace. A student from Eikei University, Hiroshima, answered, “We often talk about the importance of taking action in correcting mistakes. This G7 Summit provides the opportunity for everyone to stand on the same stage to discuss and come together to take that first step towards peace."
As a message to the students, Mrs Kishida remarked that the G7 leaders and the students are all equal players in wishing for a peaceful world. “I hope that you will discover new insights and new ways to relate to peace and take further steps toward peace. I hope that from this young generation in Hiroshima, the message for peace will spread throughout the world”, she said.
Japanese singer “AI” joined as a surprise guest to sing “Lean on Me”. AI started the “Lasting Peace for Every Child” peace education project on the occasion of the G7 Summit.
After the symposium, Shogo Nakamura, an alumnus of the UNITAR Youth Ambassador Programme, said,
I now realize there is a common feeling towards peace, globally. The term ‘peace’ can be interpreted in many ways, but I would like to become a person that can guide people toward the goal of achieving peace."
UNITAR Youth Ambassador alumna Airi Fukuyama stressed,
What’s important is to take action to strive for peace, rather than simply wishing for peace."
The young people of Hiroshima are eager to take action to realize a more peaceful world – to spread awareness of the destruction a single atomic bomb can cause and promote messages of peace.
Partners of G7 Leaders:
- Mrs Yuko Kishida, the Spouse of the Prime Minister, of Japan
- Dr Jill Biden, First Lady, United States of America
- Mrs Britta Ernst, Spouse of Federal Chancellor, Federal Republic of Germany
- Mrs Akshata Murty, Spouse of Prime Minister, United Kingdom
- Prof. Dr Heiko Echter von der Leyen, Spouse of the President, European Commission
- AI, singer and official UNICEF volunteer
- Yuji Sasaki, Board Vice Chair, NPO Sadako Legacy
- Kenta Sumioka, Managing Director, NPO Peace Culture Village
- Yosuke Nagai, CEO and Founder, NPO Accept International
- Tetsuya Matsuda, Chairman and CEO, Hiroshima Mazda, Co., Ltd.
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations. In 2021, UNITAR trained 370,139 learners around the world to support their actions for a better future. In addition to our headquarters in Geneva, we have offices in Hiroshima, New York, Bonn and various networks around the world.
One of the eight divisions of UNITAR, the Division for Prosperity, based in the Hiroshima Office and Geneva Headquarters, seeks to shape an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world. World-class learning and knowledge-sharing services on entrepreneurship, leadership, finance and trade, digital technologies, and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are offered. We empower individuals from developing countries – especially women and young people – to address inequalities. Our alumni are making a difference in least-developed countries, countries emerging from conflict, and small-island developing states.