New: Division for Prosperity Launches Newsletter, August 2021
This is the first issue of the UNITAR Division of Prosperity quarterly newsletter. The newsletter will update you on the progress of our various programmes and initiatives. It will be available through the UNITAR website and social media and shared via email. To subscribe or send us questions/comments, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dai Tamesue, Japanese Record Holder of the 400m Hurdles, Appointed UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador
Dai Tamesue, a two-time World Championship bronze medallist in the 400m hurdles, was appointed UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador in July 2021. A third-generation atomic-bomb survivor from Hiroshima City, Mr. Tamesue is the first Japanese athlete to win a medal at the World Championship in Athletics. He also represented Japan at the Sydney (2000), Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008) Olympic games. Since retiring as a professional athlete in 2012, he has dedicated himself to assisting athletes including those in countries with limited access to international-level coaches, supporting para-sports, and sharing messages for international peace with the public.
Goodwill Ambassadors are influential persons in various fields who use their talents and platform to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to make the planet a better place for all. Mr. Tamesue’s domestic prominence, international experience as an athlete, and work for the betterment of others align him with UNITAR’s ideals and mandate. As Goodwill Ambassador, Mr. Tamesue recently took part in an online dialogue with Hiroshima youth on 6 August 2021 and will be participating in a video series on the SDG pillars. UNITAR is looking forward to working with Mr. Tamesue to use the power of sports to promote peace and mutual understanding.
UNITAR Launches New Digital Finance Initiative
UNITAR launched the Digital Finance Initiative, which aims to reduce digital inequalities and increase financial inclusion. While the global pandemic has made digital connection platforms and virtual environments more central to day-to-day life, many people are still unable to access them. Through training, this programme aims to support countries and organizations to build their people’s essential digital and financial knowledge and skills.
The launch was marked by the first annual virtual conference on digital finance held on 21 April 2021, which coincided with World Creativity and Innovation Day. The conference consisted of three panel discussions on the role of FinTech innovations in sustainable development. Panellists were from the Asian Development Bank, Deloitte Switzerland, Geneva Finance Research Institute of the University of Geneva, Instimatch Global, National Bank of Hungary, SIX Digital Exchange and Swiss Finance and Technology Association.
A series of online courses on digital finance will be launched from August 2021, covering topics from FinTech, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and combatting digital financial crime, to digital innovations for sustainable development. UNITAR is now accepting applications – please visit the following link to apply: www.unitar.org/digitalfinance.
Watch the video for the virtual conference here.
UNITAR Launches Social Entrepreneurship Courses in Afghanistan, Iraq, and South Sudan
With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating pre-existing inequalities in public health and employment, responding to these challenges is the focus for this year’s round of social entrepreneurship programmes. Supported by the Government of Japan, the courses seek to empower social entrepreneurs in Afghanistan, Iraq, and South Sudan so they may meet domestic social needs and promote sustainable recovery.
On 1 June 2021, UNITAR launched the Building Bridges: Entrepreneurship and Project Planning in South Sudan Programme. The online course provides South Sudanese youth with knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship, project management, and leadership. A national mentoring team is leading the training, alongside international experts, and supporting 75 young professionals from the public, private, and civic sectors, academia, and media.
UNITAR launches its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme: Mobilizing Resilient Entrepreneurs to Address Food Insecurity, Public Health, and Unemployment – For Youth in Iraq, on 20 August 2021. The course will train 150 young innovators to create new or scale up existing businesses using design thinking, contemporary leadership, and management practices. Training will include self-paced online courses and webinars alongside a capstone project, in which participants will create a business model they pitch.
COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme: Mobilizing Resilient Entrepreneurs to Address Food Insecurity, Public Health and Unemployment – For Women in Afghanistan is also scheduled to come. The programme aims to mobilize women entrepreneurs to address social needs in Afghanistan. Participants will be equipped with the skills to turn their ideas into self-led businesses that support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Leading Inclusive 4IR: Empowering Women in Afghanistan for the Future of Work through Digital Reskilling
On 31 May 2021, UNITAR launched a new 6-week online training programme, Leading Inclusive 4IR: Empowering Women in Afghanistan for the Future of Work through Digital Reskilling. The course aims to equip participants with skills pertaining to the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), so they can address growing wage gaps, the digital divide, and new challenges in the post-COVID-19 work environment. The course will cover programming, application development, and digital literacy alongside gender-specific leadership training.
The first round of the programme had over 300 participants and successfully ended with an online hackathon, where participants could test their new skills. The second round of the programme started on 19 July 2021, with 300 participants. Two more rounds are scheduled to come.
UNITAR is also planning to launch an Inclusive 4IR programme for women and youth in the Sahel region, to be conducted in French and tailored to the needs of participants from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. UNITAR is now accepting applications for the first round; deadline to apply is 7 September 2021.
A pilot programme for Iraq is also scheduled to be launched around October this year.
The Afghanistan programme is supported with funding from the Swedish International Development Agency’s (SIDA) contribution to the UNITAR Strategic Framework Fund, while the Sahel 4IR programme will be run with support from the Government of Japan. The pilot programme will be supported by Hiroshima Prefecture.
UNITAR and ITS Education Asia Jointly Launch Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme
In partnership with ITS Education Asia, UNITAR will launch the Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme in Hong Kong in September 2021. The programme will be expanded to various cities in China in 2022 and to other Asia-Pacific countries in 2023.
Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific is a 10-week course that will train youth on sustainable development and the SDGs. The course aims to empower high school students in building back greener and better from the COVID-19 pandemic by letting them design and curate sustainable development plans. On 18 September 2021, one week before the launch of the programme, a special webinar will be held with panellists from educational institutions and NGOs, alongside alumni from the Hiroshima Youth Ambassador programme.
The Hiroshima Youth Ambassador Programme was first launched in 2010 and has now been running for 11 years; the programme recently launched its latest round on 25 July 2021. This year, 22 Hiroshima Youth Ambassadors will participate in online workshops over three months to learn about and advocate for the SDGs.
Read a Youth Ambassador's story here.
- On 6 August 2021, UNITAR, in collaboration with the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), Hiroshima Prefecture, and the Hiroshima Organization for Global Peace (HOPe), hosted a free, public webinar on promoting the abolition of nuclear weapons. Through three panels and a dialogue, it introduced participants to the current discourse around nuclear abolition as well as various unique perspectives on promoting cooperation among stakeholders. Panellists included Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu (UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament), Mr. Hidehiko Yuzaki (Governer of Hiroshima Prefecture), Dr. Patricia Lewis (Director of International Security Programme at Chatham House), and Ms. Kaja Ciglic (Senior Director, Digital Diplomacy, Digital Peace initiative, Microsoft), to name a few.
- UNITAR is working with EdApp and United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to enhance learning opportunities. Recently, we launched a new course on AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Human Rights, which focuses on the ethical use of AI and the intersection of human rights and technology. It was piloted in the UNITAR Leading Inclusive 4IR programme. “Having basic knowledge of ICT and digital technology is a must, especially for us Afghan women, to make Afghanistan a secure and peaceful place for us,” says a programme alumna. The course is being offered to the public for free, as part of our efforts to reach the furthest first through EdApp’s Educate All Initiative. To learn about what we have achieved in providing free, public courses on EdApp, please see our global impact report.
- UNITAR and FAO Launch Free Course on Trade and Food Security in Arabic for the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Region
- UNITAR and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have issued a call for applications for two joint online courses: Trade and Food Security in Arabic for NENA and Agri-food Export Promotion Policy and Practical Tools in Russian. The Trade and Food Security in Arabic for NENA programme will focus on capacity-building in 19 Arabic-speaking countries in three areas: evidence-based trade policies, trade agreement formulation and negotiation, and food security concerns. The Export Promotion Policy and Practical Tools programme targets professionals from ministries of agriculture, ministries of trade and economy, and other related authorities involved in the formulation, upgrading, and implementation of trade or agricultural policies. The programme will strengthen the participants’ capacity to provide practical advice to agri-food businesses in realizing the export potential in 12 post-Soviet countries. Read impact stories on agriculture and international trade agreements in Europe and Central Asia, Trade, Food Security and Nutrition for Sub-Saharan Africa, Trade, Food Security and Nutrition for Central Europe and Asia, and Trade, Food Security and Nutrition for Eastern and Southern Africa.
- Impact Story of the Arab Gulf Programme for Development (AGFUND) and UNITAR – Global Learning Platform on Financial Inclusion
- Impact Story in Iraq
- Impact Story in South Sudan
- Disaster-Risk Reduction Stories in Pacific Island Countries and Territories
- Completion of the Gender Empowerment Now: Building Capacity to Mainstream Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) into Government Policy for Jordan and Lebanon programme, with the assistance of the Cypriot Government and UN Women.
- Completion of the Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Training Programme, with the financial support of the Hiroshima Prefectural Government and the City of Hiroshima
- Completion of the Iraq Entrepreneurship and Leadership Youth Training Programme
- Completion of the Social Entrepreneurship Training Programme for Women in the Horn of Africa