UNITAR Hiroshima represented at the Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States
The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) took place in Apia, Samoa between 1-4 September 2014, focusing on the theme of ‘The Sustainable Development of SIDS Through Genuine and Durable Partnerships’. A staff member from the UNITAR Hiroshima Office was in attendnace, and undertook discussions with a focus on the Office expanding its activities further into the Pacific.
Twenty-one heads of state and 3,500 delegates from governments, the private sector and civil society, representing 115 countries, attended the conference. A total of 297 sustainable development partnerships were recorded, with a total commitment value of over USD$1.9 billion. The partnerships are in the areas of sustainable economic development, climate change and disaster risk management, social development, sustainable energy, ocean health, and water and sanitation, food security and waste management.
The outcome document “Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action” — Samoa Pathway — was unanimously adopted and reaffirmed that Small Island Developing States remained “a special case” for sustainable development due to their unique and particular vulnerabilities. The Samoa Pathway outlines new modalities of action on a range of issues, including sustainable, inclusive and equitable economic growth, climate change, sustainable energy, disaster risk reduction, sustainable use of marine resources, and means of implementing those objectives.
The UNITAR Hiroshima Office looks forward to working with SIDS, and counterparts from around the world, to train and build the capacity of these unique states.
81st UNITAR PUBLIC SESSION
The UN Security Council: Victim of Great Power Tensions?
15 September 2014, Hiroshima, Japan – The UNITAR Hiroshima Office, in collaboration with the Chugoku Shimbun newspaper, hosted a Public Session exploring the UN Security Council’s track record and its current influence in relation to global conflicts and crises.
The session saw Dr. David M. Malone, United Nations University Rector; Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and author of three books on the UN Security Council, outline the role and history of the UN Security Council since the end of the Cold War, as the only international body authorized to mandate the use of force across borders. He then explored the current condition of the Council and its role, and perceived shortcomings, in crises such as those of Syria and Ukraine.
As Japan is looking to be elected to the Security Council for the 11th time next year, the Public Session was an excellent opportunity to gain a better understanding of the contemporary context in which the Council works. With simultaneous Japanese/English translation, the session was attended by 92 people, from schools, academia, government, NGOs and the local community.
The audience engaged with Dr. Malone with questions about reform to the Council, human rights, the International Courts and the seemingly reactive nature of the Council to brewing crises. Dr. Malone drew upon a large number of contemporary examples to highlight how the UN and international justice systems work, and that any reform to the Council should be approached gradually and in an informed manner. Dr. Malone also took the opportunity to encourage the high school students in the audience to consider the UN in their future careers.
The Public Session was covered by the Chugoku Shimbun newspaper (Link - Japanese only).
Training for 85 Civil Servants from Afghanistan concludes in Abu Dhabi
The UNITAR Hiroshima Office recently successfully concluded Workshop II of its flagship Fellowship for Afghanistan Programme in Abu Dhabi. Held between 25 and 29 August, the Workshop examined Organisational Needs Assessment, Project Planning and Design, as well as Team Development and Management.
- The Afghanistan Civil Service Institute (ACSI)
- The Aga Khan Foundation
- De Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (Power Utility Company)
- The Mine Clearance Program for Afghanistan
- Ministry of Borders and Tribal Affairs
- Ministry of Counter Narcotics
- Ministry of Education
- Ministry of Finance
- Ministry of Public Health
- Ministry of Public Works
- Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development
- National Assembly (Wolosi Jirga, Parliament)
- Office of the Administrative Affairs
The next workshop of the Fellowship will be held in Hiroshima in November.
Training on the adoption of a Green Economy in Afghanistan concludes successfully in Hiroshima
The Hiroshima Office recently completed training on the adoption of a Green Economy to 20 representatives of the Government of Afghanistan. Hailing from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, and the Ministry of Economy, and in a programme delivered in close collaboration with the Afghanistan Civil Service Institute and UNDP Afghanistan, the participants represented both Kabul based Civil Servants, as well as Provincial Directors,
allowing for some very focused discussions as to the on-the-ground implementability of the issues presented.
The programme, delivered between 26 and 20 May, focused not only on the theories and benefits of a Green Economy to sustainable development, but also on methodologies for stakeholder awareness raising and programmatic implementation. The concept of a green economy has received increasing international attention recently, as countries explore new patterns of development that take into account economic, social and environmental sustainability considerations. Participants examined different concepts and facets of the green economy, as well as global, national and sector-specific challenges and opportunities to advance low-carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive development.
By the end of the programme, participants were to have been able to:
- Define the concept of a green economy and explain its value;
- Describe social, environmental and economic benefits of advancing a green economy;
- Identify enabling conditions for greening national economies;
- Identify principal challenges and opportunities for greening key economic sectors;
- Describe national planning processes in support of a green transformation;
- Outline key elements of action plan development;
- Illustrate processes for effective stakeholder identification and integration.
The presentations were augmented by in-depth study tours to the following entities:
HIGASHI HIROSHIMA LOCAL IRRIGATION NETWORK
- This visit examined the central irrigation network, and fair distribution systems which are employed in rural Japan. The visit was preceded by a presentation from the Hiroshima Prefectural Government on the efficiency and fair-distribution models employed in Japan at a Central- and Local-Government level. The role of local actors, farmers, and government representatives was outlined, as were rural renewal policies employed in Japan. Local cooperatives for distribution and value-adding of local produce was also discussed, as were subsidies for solar energy in rural areas.
SEIBU RECYCLING CENTER
- The Seibu Recycling Center, located close to Hiroshima city center processes 80 tonnes of recyclable waste per day, on 3 lines. These lines are entirely manual, and the sorting process is done by hand. This low-tech, but very effective approach was selected for its potential implementability in Afghanistan, as well as the related engagement with the local community that such recycling requires. Presentations held by local government representativeness included the processes and policies required to develop and build the recycling center as well as the methods of community engagement and stakeholder integration required to give the populace buy-in to the process.
HIROSHIMA PEACE MEMORIAL MUSEUM AND PARK
- Participants were introduced to the bombing of Hiroshima by a representative of the municipal government, who also examined the two-tiered post-conflict reconstruction process engaged in since 1945. Alongside the "hard-infrastructure" redevelopment, the processes and policies required for changing the thinking patterns and values of a community - from that of a military city to one focused on peace and reconciliation - were also outlined. following this a tour of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and the ways in which the community has memorialised tragedy for future generations was also discussed. many comments in the evaluation forms outlined this visit as being very meaningful for the participants.
KINARI MURA COMPOST AND RECYCLING FARM
- The Kinari Mura farm engages in compost and recycling research in a real-world scenario, and is a good example of public-private partnership in the field of Green Economy. The discussion held at the farm focused on similarities and differences observed by the participants vs farming practices in Afghanistan, as well as extrapolation as to the impact adopting some of the techniques and practices would have on agriculture within certain provinces.
The programme will be followed up with in 8 weeks time, with a session in Kabul, examining implementation of the action plans developed in Hiroshima.
The UNITAR Youth Ambassadors for 2014-2015
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).
Training on World Heritage Sites concludes successfully
- Identify the Principles and Objectives of the World Heritage Convention.
- Explain the fundamentals of the Operational Guidelines for the Implementation of the World Heritage Convention.
- Explain the World Heritage Nomination and Evaluation Processes.
- Summarise the concept of Outstanding Universal Value, with particular regard to Cultural Landscape Nominations.
- List the criteria for the Assessment of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV).
- Analyse the concepts of World Heritage Cultural Landscapes and Mixed Sites, including identifying and defining potential OUV.
- Identify key elements of both Authenticity and Integrity with regard to World Heritage Sites.
Utilising Resource Persons from ICOMOS, IUCN, UNESCO, and UNITAR, the workshop also incorporated study tours to the iconic Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome), and Itsukushima Shinto Shrine, the two sites of World Heritage in Hiroshima Prefecture. UNITAR would like to thank the Hiroshima Municipal Government, and the Hiroshima Prefectural Government for their assistance in making this workshop so successful.
The Final Workshop in the Fellowship for Afghanistan 2013 Cycle concludes in Kabul
78th UNITAR Public Session
International Women Day: Gender Empowerment?
Minister of Finance of Afghanistan visits UNITAR Hiroshima Office, signs new Memorandum of Understanding
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed recently between UNITAR Hiroshima Office and the Ministry of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in order to deepen the partnership to date and to serve as a framework for future cooperation.
UNITAR was honoured to host H.E. Dr. Omar Zakhilwal, Minister of Finance of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as well as Mr. Musa Kamawi, Human Resources Director, Ministry of Finance, in both Hiroshima and Tokyo, Japan. The Minister’s presence allowed for bilateral discussion on the possibilities, and requirements of nurturing and strengthening cooperation further between UNITAR and the Ministry of Finance so as to contribute to overall human capacity development processes in Afghanistan.
H.E. Minister Zakhilwal was briefed on the many programmes the Hiroshima Office undertakes in Afghanistan, stretching back to 2003. With an alumni of over 450 Afghan Civil Servants trained to date, the Minister commented upon the quality of the programmes offered, as well as the impact that he has seen over his many years of engagement with the Hiroshima Office.
H.E. Minister Zakhilwal paid a visit to Hiroshima Governor, Hidehiko Yuzaki as well as Mayor, Kazumi Matsui. During his meeting H.E. Zakhilwal expressed gratitude to the Hiroshima Prefectural government and the City of Hiroshima for their continuous and generous support to Afghanistan through UNITAR Hiroshima Office that are providing capacity building trainings to hundreds of Afghan civil servants in various fields.
Representatives of the Afghan private sector strengthen skills on agri-business, leadership and, management
UNITAR, through its Hiroshima Office, trained 14 representatives of the private sector of Afghanistan on agri-business, leadership and, management skills in a workshop which took place between 27 to 31 January 2014, in Hiroshima and Tokyo, Japan.
UNITAR was honoured to host for the workshop a senior government official, Minister Advisor to the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H.E. Engineer Mohammad Yousuf Pashtun. The Senior Ministers attendance allowed for two-way discussion with participants on the possibilities, practicalities, and requirements of nurturing and strengthening cooperation and coordination between government and business in Afghanistan so as to contribute to overall development.
Also in attendance, were representatives of the federal government of the United States of America, observing the training and methodologies employed.
The workshop was developed in collaboration with the OXUS Group of Afghanistan. The objectives of the workshop included participants gaining:
- An understanding of their own personality style, and how that impacts leadership
- A deeper understanding of the nature of teams and how to lead them
- Skills fundamentally important to leadership in the private sector
- An outline of the benefits of effective communication, and skills to improve communication
- An outline of the post-conflict reconstruction process as undertaken by Japan and Hiroshima
- A deeper understanding of agri-business models from Japan
The workshop incorporated presentations, in-depth practical exercises and study tours, as well as a special session held at the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Tokyo. In order to capitalize and effectively follow-up on the workshop, the Hiroshima Office will be holding a secondary session in Kabul in three months time, which will examine implementation of the training provided with all participants.
Afghan civil servants strengthen skills on small and medium enterprise development
UNITAR, through its Hiroshima Office, trained 20 representatives of the civil service of Afghanistan on small and medium enterprise (SME) development in a workshop which took place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, between 30 November and 5 December. The workshop brought together senior government officials from Kabul, including two Vice-Ministers, and their counterparts from several provinces, which allowed for in-depth discussion covering a range of issues from policy to implementation.
The workshop was developed in collaboration with the Afghanistan Civil Service Institute, UNDP Afghanistan, Ministry of Commerce and Industries of Afghanistan, Ministry of Economy of Afghanistan, and ProFound. The objectives of the workshop included strengthening an understanding of:
- SME entrepreneurship and leadership
- SME development in the Afghan context
- SME development in a rural context
- Tools and services that are available to support and develop SME entrepreneurship and business in Afghanistan
- Stakeholder identification and integration
- Effective management of change