As one of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office’s major local engagement initiatives, the UNITAR Youth Ambassador Programme provides an opportunity to learn about the United Nations system as well as careers in diplomacy and international affairs through participation in UNITAR events. The Programme selects approximately twenty students each year 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 Youth Ambassador Programme, launched 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. Each year, the Programme adjusts its theme of the training. 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.
UNITAR gratefully acknowledges the following organizations for their support in the UNITAR Youth Ambassador Programme:
- Hiroshima Prefectural Government
- Hiroshima City Government
- United Nations Information Center (UNIC)
- Soroptimist International Heiwa-Hiroshima
- Soroptimist International Hiroshima-Chuo
- Chugoku Shimbun
- Rotary International District 2710
2019 UNITAR Youth Ambassadors
The 2019 Cycle of the Youth Ambassador Programme consisted of four workshops and a final presentation over the course of two months, during which the Youth Ambassadors developed 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 were opportunities for the Youth Ambassadors to think about what they could and should do as the youth in Hiroshima to achieve a nuclear-free world and realize the SDGs by 2030.
The highlights of the 2019 Cycle were the collaboration with other UNITAR programmes and the Hiroshima Roundtable, an international conference hosted by the Hiroshima Prefectural Government. The Youth Ambassadors participated in the August-Sixth Ideas that Matter Session with global nuclear disarmament experts, a joint session with the South Sudan training programme, the Hiroshima Lecture with the former Australian Foreign Minister.
The Youth Ambassadors attended the Ideas that Matter Panel Discussion on August 6th featuring Izumi Nakamitsu, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. During the South Sudan joint session, the Youth Ambassadors undertook the egg drop exercise, a hands-on workshop focusing on team development. It was a unique experience for the Hiroshima youth to bond with South Sudanese participants, exchanging ideas, learning new perspectives, and broadening cultural horizons. At the Hiroshima Roundtable, the participants, representing the youth of Hiroshima, shared a stage and had an in-depth discussion with the former Australian Foreign Minister, Hon. Gareth Evans, on nuclear disarmament and its future.
On 20 April 2015, the UNITAR Youth Ambassadors Appointment Ceremony was held to announce and congratulate the newly appointed UNITAR Youth Ambassadors. The Ceremony was attended by some 35 participants including 19 participants from the Training Programme on World Heritage Sites, and partners in Hiroshima.
2014-2015 UNITAR Youth Ambassadors
The UNITAR Youth Ambassadors for 2014-2015 are: Ms. Nozomi Omode, Notre Dame Seishin Senior High School, and Mr. Shunya Ishihara, Hiroshima Gakuin High School.
On 14 April 2014, the UNITAR Youth Ambassadors Appointment Ceremony was held to announce and congratulate the newly appointed UNITAR Youth Ambassadors. The Ceremony was attended by some 30 participants including 21 participants of the Training on World Heritage Sites, and partners in Hiroshima.
The ceremony was covered by Chugoku Shimbun Newspaper (only in Japanese).
2013-2014 UNITAR Youth Ambassadors
The UNITAR Youth Ambassadors for 2013-2014 are: Ms. Sae Murai, Hiroshima Jogakuin High School, and Mr. Yuuki Yanagawa, Hiroshima Gakuin High School.
On 19 March 2013, the UNITAR Youth Ambassadors Appointment Ceremony was held to announce and congratulate the newly appointed UNITAR Youth Ambassadors. The Ceremony was attended by over 50 participants including 26 representatives of the Ministry of Oil of the Republic of Iraq, and partners in Hiroshima from both the public and private sectors. Marimo Co., Ltd. graciously provided iPads for the Youth Ambassadors.
The ceremony was covered by Chugoku Shimbun Newspaper.
11-12 June 2013, Tokyo - The 2013-14 UNITAR Youth Ambassadors completed their Study Trip to Tokyo. The Study Trip included briefings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Japan, United Nations University headquarters, United Nations Information Centre, the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq, and the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The Youth Ambassadors had the opportunity to meet with the newly appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to Japan, H.E. Mr. Alaa Al-Hashimy, and the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Japan, H.E. Dr. Sayed Mohammad Amin Fatimie. Visiting both national and international entities, the Youth Ambassadors gained important insight into the diverse role of the United Nations, international cooperation, and bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
2011-2012 UNITAR Youth Ambassadors
The UNITAR Youth Ambassadors for 2011-2012 are: Ms. Yoko Kajino, Municipal Motomachi High School, and Mr. Ryosuke Koreyasu, Prefectural Hiroshima Inokuchi High School.
On 15 December 2011, UNITAR was proud to join Hiroshima Prefecture, Chugoku Shimbun Newspaper, and Rotary International to select and appoint the new UNITAR Youth Ambassadors for 2011-2012. UNITAR treasures these opportunities to engage with the youth of Japan to raise awareness on the importance of multilateral diplomacy to maintain peace. UNITAR hopes that this will encourage the next generation to actively embrace the ideals of the United Nations. Pictured below are Youth Ambassadors Ms. Yoko Kajino and Mr. Ryosuke Koreyasu with the three recipients of Honorouble Mentions.
2010-2011 UNITAR Youth Ambassadors
The UNITAR Youth Ambassadors for 2010-2011 are: Ms. Yuri Takeuchi, Municipal Funairi Senior High School, and Mr. Taiju Sasaki, Municipal Motomachi Senior High School.
An Appointment and Awards Ceremony was held at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum on 18 October 2010 in order to announce the winners of the inaugural UNITAR Youth Ambassador Programme. Joined by Ms. Asako Toyoda, Deputy Mayor of the City of Hiroshima, Mr. Hiroshi Arioka, Vice-Governor of Hiroshima, as well as Mr. Jiro Kawatsuma, Past-Governor of Rotary International District 2710,Mr. Kazuyuki Kawamoto, President of the Chugoku Shimbun Co. Ltd., the Head of the UNITAR Mission to Japan, Mr. Alex Mejia, awarded both trophies and iPads to Ms. Yuri Takeuchi, a second grade student from the Municipal Funairi Senior High School, and Mr. Taiju Sasaki a first grade student from the Municipal Motomachi Senior High School. Three Honourable Mentions were also acknowledged. The competition, focusing on the youth of Hiroshima and their views on international diplomacy was well received, with dozens of high-level submissions. UNITAR thanks the staff and students of all schools who took part and congratulates the first UNITAR Youth Ambassadors.
The 2010-2011 UNITAR Youth Ambassadors completed their first official mission to Tokyo on 18 and 19 May, 2011. They had protocolary meetings with high level officials and received briefings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, the United Nations University headquarters, the United Nations Development Programme Japan and the United Nations Information Center in Tokyo.
In addition, they met with the Ambassadors of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, H.E. Seiko Ishikawa, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, H.E. Mohammad Amin Fatimie, and the Republic of Iraq H.E. Lukman Faily. During their mission they also discussed the value of diplomacy as a tool for peacemaking and development.