With 2015 representing the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, UNITAR Hiroshima Office developed a unique disarmament and negotiation training programme focused on South East Asia. Drawing upon the experiences of Hiroshima, the UNITAR Hiroshima Training Programme on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation for South East Asia was held between 8 and 12 June 2015.
The programme was delivered in collaboration with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR); United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific (UNRCPD); and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). The programme was also supported by the Hiroshima City and Prefectural Governments and the Asia Foundation.
Drawing upon the experiences of Hiroshima and experts from the partner organizations and universities, the programme examined three key areas:
- trends of nuclear negotiations at the global level;
- issues of nuclear non-proliferation in Southeast Asia; and
- negotiation skills in the context of nuclear negotiations.
Diplomats from five South East Asian Countries – Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and Myanmar participated in the programme. The programme included study tours to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum; the Atomic Bomb Dome; the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, as well as presentations and workshops with disarmament and peace experts including:
- Tariq RAUF, Director, Disarmament, Arms Control and Non-Proliferation Programme, SIPRI
- Tim CAUGHLEY, Resident Senior Fellow, UNIDIR
- Professor Mitsuru KUROSAWA, Osaka Jogakuin University
- Professor Kazumi MIZUMOTO, Vice-president, Hiroshima Peace Institute
- Yasushi NOGUCHI, Director Arms Control and Disarmament Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
- Hiroaki NAKANISHI, Peace, Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Officer, UNRCPD
- Hiroshima Atomic Bomb survivors
Participants evaluated the programme very highly. The number of participants who indicated that they had a "high" to "moderately high" understanding of the key challenges and opportunities regarding the current state of nuclear disarmament, rose from 30% before the programme to 90% by its conclusion. Furthermore, 100% of participants reported that the programme content was new, useful and that they would use the information in their jobs.
The strength of the partnerships and the success of the 2015 programme has already led to the groundwork being laid for continuing the programme on an annual basis.