- The G7 Summit was held in Hiroshima, Japan, from 19 May to 21 May 2023.
- Keiko Ogura, a hibakusha (survivor of the atomic bomb), spoke to the G7 leaders during the Summit.
- She believes coming to Hiroshima gives people the opportunity to reflect and explore what they can do to bring about peace.
- Ms. Ogura values UNITAR’s role in promoting peace through education.
- UNITAR Hiroshima Office organized a pre-G7 Summit youth event and participated in activities coinciding with the G7 Summit.
- The three events highlighted young people’s and women’s innovative actions for peace and the impact of UNITAR’s digital skills training.
7 December 2023, Hiroshima, Japan – In May 2023, the G7 Summit was held in Hiroshima, Japan, putting the global spotlight on one of UNITAR’s host cities. Ms. Keiko Ogura, a hibakusha (atomic bombing survivor), who has been an invaluable contributor to UNITAR Hiroshima Office’s training programmes, reflected on her meetings with the G7 leaders at the Summit.
UNITAR Hiroshima Office also organized a series of activities to showcase the local community’s initiatives and youth’s power to disseminate Hiroshima’s message of peace to the world.
REFLECTIONS OF KEIKO OGURA, ATOMIC BOMBING SURVIVOR
Ms. Keiko Ogura, a hibakusha, has supported UNITAR training programmes over the years by sharing her story and insights as a peace advocate with training participants. During the G7 Summit, she met with the G7 leaders, their spouses and partners to express the catastrophic consequences of nuclear weapons.
Ms Ogura called upon the G7 leaders to take the lead towards the abolition of nuclear weapons and encourage people around the world to think more deeply about peace. She hopes that each person can take action – even small actions can build up to achieving future peace.
To realize a peaceful society, each of us has to think of war and peace as a personal matter. I believe it is sinful to be indifferent to the pain felt by the people living in countries that are in the midst of conflict, just because one lives in a peaceful country. We have to start by first understanding the situation, exploring what each of us can do, and finally taking action.” – Ms. Keiko Ogura, atomic bombing survivor and peace advocate
Ms. Ogura acknowledges that peace cannot be achieved overnight and the reality we see today is far from peaceful. She recognizes that steady efforts to educate people continue to be essential for achieving a peaceful and just society. She believes that UNITAR trainings that bring learners to Hiroshima – where they stand on ground zero and listen to first-hand accounts of survivors – give the participants the chance to reflect on what they need to learn, think, and do as future leaders in their countries.
Many of the participants who join UNITAR’s training program have a strong will to rebuild their countries. By coming to Hiroshima, they will not only see the tragedy of war but will also be able to feel the strength and hope of the people of Hiroshima as they rebuilt the city into the beautiful place you see today.” – Ms. Keiko Ogura
UNITAR AND THE G7 SUMMIT IN HIROSHIMA
UNITAR Hiroshima Office organized a series of activities to dovetail with the G7 Summit in the city of peace.
Youth Dialogue: Life in Hiroshima and Promoting Global Peace
In partnership with the UNITAR Association, UNITAR held the Hiroshima G7: Voice of the Youth dialogue on 17 April 2023. Seven youth, one from each G7 country currently living in Hiroshima, shared their experiences in Hiroshima and discussed the city’s role in promoting global peace. Approximately 140 people joined the event.
The panellists spoke about how their immersion in the city and the local community allowed them to deepen their understanding of what Hiroshima can offer. They called on fellow youth to be courageous and work together to champion great initiatives for peace, saying that the best way young people can influence the world is by pursuing their goals and aspirations in life.
Youth Symposium on Peace with the Spouses of G7 Leaders
On 19 May, UNITAR, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and the Hiroshima Organization for Global Peace, co-hosted the G7 Summit Partners’ Program event, Youth Symposium on Peace. The symposium drew on the G7 Summit to create momentum for youth and students to think about peace and take action to tackle global issues.
Mrs. Yuko Kishida of Japan and spouses and family members of G7 and European Commission leaders took part, joined by approximately 100 students from Hiroshima high schools and universities and alumni of the UNITAR Youth Ambassador Programme. Five guests also spoke about their organizations’ initiatives to promote peace in Japan.
Leaving No One Behind in a Digital World
UNITAR, with the Government of Japan, participated in the governmental public relations exhibition in Hiroshima for media, which was held from 18 to 22 May 2023 to coincide with the G7 Hiroshima Summit.
The UNITAR exhibit highlighted the impact of training women, youth and professionals in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Sahel region on practical digital skills. Bridging the digital divide is essential if we are to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.
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.