- On 1 July 2023, UNITAR Hiroshima Office held a public forum “Empowering Changemakers – A Force towards Sustainable Futures” at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum to commemorate UNITAR's 60th anniversary and UNITAR Hiroshima Office's 20th anniversary with the Hiroshima community.
- The panellists discussed their perspectives on youth empowerment - opportunities, challenges and responsibilities changemakers experience today.
- Over 100 participants joined the anniversary forum.
14 July 2023, Hiroshima, Japan – On 1 July 2023, UNITAR Hiroshima Office held a public forum “Empowering Changemakers – A Force towards Sustainable Futures” at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum. Over 100 guests joined to discuss youth empowerment.
Organized to commemorate UNITAR’s 60th and UNITAR Hiroshima Office’s 20th anniversaries, the forum aimed to raise awareness of the importance of empowering young people so they can thrive in this rapidly changing world. Four panellists who started as young changemakers in their countries and are now at the forefront of their fields discussed how to empower new generations of changemakers to create a sustainable future. They talked about the role of social media and how culture and other contexts can come into play.
Messages from the panellists
“Once someone makes a breakthrough, others will follow. Someone will raise their voice and that will encourage others. And the small courage of one person will encourage others and that will build momentum. So take action with courage.” Mr Dai Tamesue, UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador and CEO, Deportare Partners
“Youth participation in politics and governance, [social movements and media], promoting diversity and inclusiveness, human rights and justice, raising awareness … There are many ways youth can reshape society.
However, never underestimate [the] power of a small action, even if it is the smallest action of kindness or compassion. These actions deliver change and are dispersed far and wide.
Also, I will not always say that youth should always bring change, change, change – because youth has to maintain our good culture and values in the society as well.” —Ms. Brishna Orya, UNITAR alumna from Afghanistan and freelance public relations and communication adviser
“Youth in advanced nations will be required to choose. Whether you will be a part of the problem or a part of the solution to the problem that we face – you will be required to choose. In your daily life, you can contribute to the solutions. A small choice that you make will have ripple effects. A small drop of water will add to become a river. Your choice will contribute to the future.” —Mr. Morley Edmund Robertson, international journalist, musician, and commentator
“Make friends all over the world. The more I have friends, the more I feel I can do something about the issues I see on TV. Wanting to do something for friends becomes a source of power to act. Together, I hope everyone will make friends all over the world.” —Ms. Ayano Morishita, 2015 UNITAR Youth Ambassador, Nippon Television Network Corporation
The panellists emphasized the importance of finding the courage to act, no matter how small that act. They expressed the vital role of education in empowering youth and women and in having leaders and role models who can guide the youth to use their imaginations and take action.
Special guests from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hiroshima Prefecture and UNITAR Association congratulated UNITAR and the Hiroshima Office on its anniversary and attested to the importance of continuing the work of UNITAR to achieve a sustainable future.
Nikhil Seth, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNITAR Executive Director, expressed his heartfelt thanks to the audience and guests, and especially to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Hiroshima Prefecture, the City of Hiroshima, and the people of Hiroshima and Japan.
“We deeply appreciate all your generous and continuous support to the UNITAR Hiroshima Office over the past 20 years. We are eager to see what the future holds.”
- Ms Ayano Morishita, 2015 UNITAR Youth Ambassador, Nippon Television Network Corporation
- Ms Brishna Orya, UNITAR alumna from Afghanistan and freelance public relations and communication adviser
- Mr Morley Edmund Robertson, international journalist, musician and commentator
- Mr Dai Tamesue, UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador and CEO, Deportare Partners
- Mr. Koichiro Matsumoto, Director, Global Issues Cooperation Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
- Ms Ayumi Kurihara, Chief of International Affairs and Peace Promotion, Hiroshima Prefecture
- Mr. Shigeki Sasaki, Chair, UNITAR Association
The anniversary forum was supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, Hiroshima Prefecture, the City of Hiroshima, Mayors for Peace, Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, Chugoku Economic Federation, Hiroshima Keizai Doyukai, Junior Chamber International Hiroshima, and Chugoku Shimbun.
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 is based in the Hiroshima Office and Geneva headquarters. The Division seeks to shape an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world through world-class learning and knowledge-sharing services on entrepreneurship, leadership, finance and trade, digital technologies, and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. We work with individuals from developing countries – especially women and young people in least developed countries, conflict and post-conflict countries, and small-island developing states.