Greetings from UNITAR Hiroshima Office Director Mihoko Kumamoto
I am delighted to share our work and progress of 2018 at UNITAR Hiroshima Office. 2018 has been a fruitful year for both Hiroshima and the UNITAR Hiroshima Office. Hiroshima’s local baseball team, Toyo Carp, has claimed the Central League Championship for the third year in a row. The UNITAR Hiroshima Office has also been busy and active, celebrating its 15th anniversary since it began operations in 2003.
We have implemented numerous capacity building training workshops inside and outside Japan, supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targeted at leaders from Japan, South Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, South East Asia, and 18 Pacific and Indian Ocean Island countries, as well as developing community outreach programmes such as the Ideas that Matter series. We want to express sincere appreciation for all the assistance, support, and friendship extended to us over the last fifteen years. We look forward to seeing you again in 2019.
UNITAR Hiroshima Afghanistan Fellowship Programme 2018 Cycle
The 2018 Cycle of the UNITAR Afghanistan Fellowship Programme, which first began in 2003, successfully concluded with Workshop III in Hiroshima in late June following Workshop I in Kabul and Workshop II in Singapore. The programme involved many partners and resources. In Singapore, staff from the UNDP Singapore Global Centre for Public Service Excellence gave presentations on public service motivation and New Public Passion. The presentations explained various motivations for civil servants, anti-corruption measures, and how countries can enact reforms in these areas, often using Singapore as a case study. Fellows actively engaged during the question and answer session, asking about how lessons learned from Singapore's development can be applied to Afghanistan. In Hiroshima, Fellows presented their team projects and grappled with team dynamics through a hands-on exercise. They also visited the Peace Memorial Park and Museum, including listening to hibakusha Ms Keiko Ogura describe her experience of the atomic bombing. Throughout the workshops, participants fine-tuned their project proposals and polished their public speaking skills in preparation for final presentations on the last day. The fellows have made impressive progress throughout the programme, and UNITAR looks forward to seeing the impact they bring to Afghanistan. Read More >>
UNITAR Iraq Fellowship Programme 2018 Cycle
Twenty-four young Iraqi professionals particpiated in the 2018 Cycle of the UNITAR Hiroshima Iraq Fellowship on Youth Entrepreneurship and Leadership. Featuring workshops in Baghdad, Istanbul and in Tokyo and Hiroshima, Japan, this unique experience provided participants with the tools and framework to implement successful projects at the end of their Fellowship tenure. Fellows participated in sessions on entrepreneurship that focus on social opportunities within the context of Iraq. They learned how to coordinate as a team, overcome challenges related to their projects, and invest their community and local stakeholders. The workshop also covered practical aspects of pricing, budgeting, and business principals. Read More >>
UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship Programme 2018 Cycle on Entrepreneurship and Project Planning
The fourth cycle of UNITAR South Sudan Fellowship on entrepreneurship and project planning came to a successful conclusion in early September in Hiroshima. Ten male and ten female Fellows from varying regions, ministries, and organizations within South Sudan experienced cultural exchanges through wearing Kimono, flowers arrangement and self-introduction in the Japanese language. Throughout the week, Fellows focused on sessions on project design, communication, leadership, and presentation skills. The Fellows, supported by five South Sudanese Coaches and Resource Persons and two UNITAR staff, first came together as a group at the Orientation Workshop in Juba and then gathered again in Uganda for Workshop II. Fellows gained practical skills on how to assess opportunities and challenges in their surroundings, augmented by the scoped assessment of need through data collection and analysis from the field. The participants presented their proposals in front of a panel consisted of Coaches, Mentors, and UNITAR Staff. We wish that Fellows will further develop their project proposals after returning to South Sudan with the hopes that they will be implemented at the local level. Read More >>
UNITAR Hiroshima Public Financial Management Capacity Building Programme
Welcoming twenty officials from Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance, the Japan study tour for the UNITAR Hiroshima Public Financial Management Capacity Building Programme took place in January in Tokyo and Hiroshima. Participants called on the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Embassy of Afghanistan in Tokyo. The group also learned from experts at the Asian Development Bank Institute in Tokyo. In Hiroshima, the Prefectural Government representatives explained the Japanese approach to public finance and answered questions related to budgeting and other topics from the trainees. Read More >>
UNITAR Hiroshima Women's Leadership Programme for Afghanistan: Governance and SDGs
UNITAR’s newest programme –Women’s Leadership Programme for Afghanistan – is currently taking place in Hiroshima. Workshop II in Tokyo and Hiroshima follows the Orientation Workshop in Kabul opened with inspirational messages from the First Lady of Afghanistan and the Director of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office. The twenty young professional Afghan women participants spent three days in Tokyo, experiencing Japanese culture in Meiji Jingu Shrine, visiting the Embassy of Afghanistan to Japan as well as attending lecture sessions by gender specialists from the Cabinet Office, Japanese International Cooperation Agency and the Japan Civil Society Network on SDGs. In Hiroshima, they continue to explore the concepts of Governance, Gender Issues and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by learning Hiroshima experiences and through the training courses with Resource Persons from UN Women, UNDP Bangkok and Singapore. Read More >>
UNITAR Hiroshima Women's Empowerment and Leadership Training for Afghanistan and Iraq
We are increasing the number of women empowerment programmes we are implementing. In March, twenty-eight women from Afghanistan and Iraq visited Japan for the first UNITAR Hiroshima Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Training Programme for Afghanistan and Iraq. Over ten days, the mid- to senior-level participants traveled to Tokyo and Hiroshima and explored important concepts including women’s empowerment, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), leadership and communication, and gender equality. Besides the lecture sessions and cultural tours in Tokyo and Hiroshima, the participants also learned much from each other as they shared their own experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq. Read More >>
UNITAR Hiroshima Women’s Leadership in Tsunami-based Disaster Risk Reduction Training Programme for World Tsunami Awareness Day
Thirty-five highly motivated women from 18 Pacific and Indian Ocean Islands arrived in Sendai, marking the start of third cyle of the UNITAR Hiroshima Women's Leadership for Tsunami-based Disaster Risk Reduction Training Programme for World Tsunami Awareness Day 2018. Throughout ten days, through a range of interactive lectures and study tours in Sendai, Kobe, Wakayama, and Tokyo, the participants explored the lessons learned from Japan and developed an action plan for implementation in their own countries. They experienced a shakeout evacuation drill with school children and visited the evacuation point and center at Hiro-Hachiman Shrine in Wakayama Prefecture. The programme concluded in Tokyo with participants' presentations of their action plans to a distinguished panel of representatives from their Embassies to Japan and other UN organizations. Ambassador Tania Laumanulupe Tupou-Fusitu'a from the Kingdom of Tonga praised the action plans and enthusiasm of the women and urged them to be strong women leaders for their countries and regions. Read More >>
The programme was also featured in Newsweek, as part of a piece by the Government of Japan highlighting their women's empowerment agenda. Read More >>
UNITAR Hiroshima Training Programme on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation
UNITAR Hiroshima Training Programme on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation kicked off on February 26, with thirty-one dedicated officials from Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Ministries of Defense of nine ASEAN member states. Following the opening session, Dr. Tariq Rauf explained the current global state of nuclear disarmament negotiations, including challenges and opportunities. When they visited the Peace Park and Peace Memorial Museum, participants sympathized with those who lost their lives and were affected by the atomic bombing. During a visit to city hall, Hiroshima City Mayor Kazumi Matsui welcomed the group and outlined the Mayors for Peace initiative. Participants deepened their understanding of global nuclear disarmament issues throughout the week. Read More >>
UNITAR Hiroshima Anti-Corruption Training Programme for the Sahel Region
The first workshop of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office Anti-Corruption Training Programme for the Sahel Region “Engaging youth to build transparent and accountable systems" (2018-2019) started in Dakar, Senegal on 2 December. 18 young professionals from public and private sectors as well as media and civil society have participated from 7 francophone countries in Sahel Region, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. Corruption is a major challenge in the Sahel region and the fight against corruption is an essential requirement in order to achieve the goals of sustainable development, and to ensure long-term peace and stability in the region. The focus of the programme will be on prevention, social change and collective action for transforming governance and reducing corruption. The second workshop will take place in Tokyo and Hiroshima in February 2019. Read More >>
UNITAR World Heritage Training Series Alumni Roundtable
World Heritage professionals from eleven countries returned to Hiroshima as a part of the UNITAR World Heritage Training Series Alumni Roundtable. Between March 19 and 23, they explored and discussed the lessons learned since the training series was launched in 2003, as well as the important connections between heritage and the SDGs. After three days in Hiroshima City, next to the World Heritage Genbaku Dome site, the group then moved to Miyajima Island, where they undertook a study tour of the Island and visited the World Heritage Site Itsukushima Shrine. One of the participants, Gurmeet Rai from ICOMOS India, commented, “Based on the example of Itsukushima Shrine and how it approaches tourists, I would like to learn how to connect the proposed World Heritage sites and the promotion of tourism in India.”Read More >>
UNITAR Hiroshima Office Disaster Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation Study Tour for International Christian University
The Disaster Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation Training programme was also adapted and tailored for a group of twelve students and staff from International Christian University for three days. Through a series of site visits to the deeply affected areas by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, and engagements with survivors, volunteers, government officials, and local NGOs, the participants experienced the personal, community, and policy impacts and lessons learned from the disaster and the subsequent reconstruction and rehabilitation. Following the site visits, UNITAR guided participants through intensive discussions about the lessons learned and how they can contextualize these to their own countries. Read More >>
UNITAR Hiroshima Young Ambassador Programme
On August 5, twenty high school students from across Hiroshima Prefecture gathered at the UNITAR office to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In one day, the Youth Ambassadors worked in teams to research on a specific SDG and introduce it to the whole group, including specific ideas for what young people in Japan can do to help achieve the SDGs. The workshop began with an opening ceremony attended by members of the Hiroshima Prefectural Assembly, Hiroshima Prefectural Government, Hiroshima City Assembly, Hiroshima City Hall, Chugoku Shimbun newspaper, and Soroptimist. On November 18, the young ambassadors presented their final project at Hiroshima International Fair.
SDG Event for Kids
As a part of the community outreach initiative, a game workshop for elementary school students was held on September 22 to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). An SDG board game was developed in cooperation with Hiroshima City University, which demonstrates, in a fun and easy way, the 17 SDGs, relevant facts, and some actions that the students can take to contribute towards the goals. A student said, “The workshop helped me realize that even I can contribute to addressing global issues.” Read More >>
On the 73rd anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, the UNITAR Hiroshima Office and the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs held a panel discussion event on the UN’s new Agenda for Disarmament. The panel consists of specialists from various institutes: Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs; Mr. Masahiko Asada, Professor at Kyoto University; Mr. Heigo Sato, Professor at Takushoku University; and Ms. Yukie Osa, Professor at Rikkyo University. The panelists stressed that everyone can and should be involved in disarmament and that there is a huge variety of ways to make a difference if you think creatively. Read More >>
Sessions with Dr. Kurokawa
Dr. Kiyoshi Kurokawa was invited as a guest speaker for the Ideas that Matters series. Two interactive discussion sessions with Dr. Kurokawa were held with the general public and university students. Dr. Kurokawa re-examined the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Accident and discussed with university students in Hiroshima about the future world trends regarding technology and higher education. Read More >>
UNITAR-JICA Peace Joint Programme
JICA hosted 2018 Annual PEACE Joint Program in Hiroshima in September. Staff from the UNITAR Hiroshima Office delivered training sessions exploring Leading Change and Transition in the context of Afghanistan. Each participant, who is currently studying a graduate-level degree in Japan, worked on identifying changes they felt were relevant for themselves and their Afghan organisations, based on their experiences from studying in Japan. Over the two days, the JICA PEACE participants developed action plans, based on the principles of change management and transition.
JICA-Hiroshima University Training Programme
A group of young experts from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of the Philippines came to Hiroshima under the JICA-Hiroshima University Training Programme, which the UNITAR Hiroshima Office is also providing support for. The group visited our office to learn about UNITAR's support for post-conflict countries and those still experiencing conflict. Further lectures by UNITAR Hiroshima Office staff on change management and sustainable development were delivered. The young professionals come from diverse professional backgrounds, including agriculture, education, multiculturalism, ecotourism, and women’s empowerment. They are making significant contributions as future leaders to the stabilization and recovery of the Region.
The year of 2018 has been a fruitful journey for UNITAR Hiroshima Office, as we celebrate 15 years. We continued the legacy of a range of successful projects as well as developed new programmes targeting the needs of specific groups such as the Women’s Leadership Programmes for Afghanistan focusing onsocial accountability and the SDGs. We are pleased to see the participants working hard and making progress through our training while being introduced to different cities especially to Hiroshima. Meanwhile, UNITAR’s community outreach programmes keep the efforts to involve the younger generations - high school and university students - and to promote the SDGs to people of all ages. We value our relationship with the local community in Hiroshima deeply. As 2019 comes closer, UNITAR Hiroshima Office wishes to continue providing high-quality training to international participants and serving the local community here in the City of Peace.