16 September 2019, Hiroshima, Japan – As one of UNITAR Hiroshima Office’s major local engagement initiatives, the UNITAR Hiroshima Youth Ambassador Programme selects twenty students from local high schools in Hiroshima to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and connect globally with international experts in different fields.
This programme, started in 2010, aims not only to deepen the students’ understanding of current global issues and solutions such as UN commitments and the SDGs but also to equip them with the skills required to work internationally in the future. As the only UN office in Chugoku and Shikoku region of Japan, the Youth Ambassador Programme is one of the most important and cordial commitments of the Office to the local community and people.
This year’s programme consists of four workshops, during which the Youth Ambassadors develop their communication, presentation, and team-building skills through training sessions uniquely programmed for adults learning by UNITAR. Lectures were given on topics concerning nuclear disarmament and the SDGs by the various lecturers, including former UN staff and youth grassroots activists. These sessions became an opportunity for the Youth Ambassadors to think about what they can and should do as the youth in Hiroshima to achieve a nuclear-free world and realize the SDGs by 2030.
The Youth Ambassadors had an opportunity to interact with the participants of the UNITAR Hiroshima Developing Dreams: Entrepreneurship and Project Design in South Sudan training programme during a joint session and undertook the “Egg Drop”, a practical exercise exploring team development. It composed a unique experience for the Hiroshima youth to bond with South Sudanese participants, exchanging ideas, learning new perspectives, and broadening cultural horizons.
One of the highlights of this year’s programme was the Hiroshima Lecture organized by Hiroshima Prefecture Government as a public session of the international conference, Hiroshima Round Table. The Youth Ambassadors, representing the youth of Hiroshima, had an in-depth discussion on stage with Hon. Gareth Evans, Former Australian Foreign Minister, on nuclear disarmament and its future. All the ambassadors were very keen to ask questions and raise crucial points during the lively discussion.
The 20 Youth Ambassadors are divided into four groups and will present on their projects after two months of hard work despite their busy school schedules and after-class activities. The final session will be held on 23 September 2019.
We want to express our sincere appreciation for the support and assistance of the Soroptimist International Heiwa-Hiroshima and Hiroshima-Chuo and the Hiroshima Prefectural Government to the UNITAR Hiroshima Youth Ambassador Programme 2019 Cycle.