- Leading up to the 2023 G7 Summit, UNITAR and UNITAR Association held the Hiroshima G7: Voice of the Youth dialogue last 17 April 2023.
- Seven youth from the G7 countries living in Hiroshima shared their experiences in Hiroshima and discussed Hiroshima’s role in promoting global peace.
- Approximately 140 attendees joined the session, who had the opportunity to learn more about the panellists' views on Hiroshima’s role in promoting global peace and other global issues.
19 April 2023, Hiroshima, Japan – On 17 April 2023, UNITAR and UNITAR Association held the Hiroshima G7: Voice of the Youth dialogue where seven youths from the G7 countries living in Hiroshima had the opportunity to share their life experiences in the City and discuss Hiroshima’s role in promoting global peace.
Approximately 140 attendees joined the session and had the opportunity to share their views on Hiroshima’s role in promoting global peace and other global issues.
The panel discussion was lively and informative as the panellists shared their impressions about the City of Hiroshima when they came in person as compared to what they learned about the City from books and on the internet.
Changing Perceptions After Visiting Hiroshima
The panellists shared that their perception of Hiroshima changed when they arrived in Hiroshima. Most of the images shown about Hiroshima when they searched for the City on the internet were about the atomic bomb tragedy but upon arrival in Hiroshima, they realized the city had very beautiful tourist attractions and lovely people.
Before coming to Hiroshima, I had an image of Hiroshima as a symbol of the atomic bomb tragedy but after coming to Hiroshima, I was very much surprised. The people of Hiroshima are very warm and cherish their history. Hiroshima is a very nice place to live in. — Luca Denser from Germany
After coming to Hiroshima, the actual image of the city changed as compared to what I knew before coming. The people of Hiroshima are very kind, the town is bright, and the people are very gentle to me. I am very grateful to the people of Hiroshima. — Arnold Andrea Angiulli from Italy
Their immersion in the city and the local community allowed them to deepen their impression and understanding of what Hiroshima can offer.
When I came to Hiroshima, it allowed me to learn about peace. It was a sad experience visiting the Hiroshima Museum, but it was a beautiful experience visiting the peace park. Hiroshima City is very beautiful and peaceful. I was surprised there were a lot of mountains and trees in Hiroshima which was different from my previous impressions of it. — Daisy Whitby from the UK
Hiroshima is a place full of the beauty of nature and human kindness. I want everyone to know about Hiroshima as I know it. — Adeline Le Mette from France
Hiroshima and Peace
The youth panellists expressed their views on Hiroshima’s primary contribution to global peace by recognizing Hiroshima as a centre of peace. They were of the view that living in Hiroshima challenges you to learn about peace, especially its determination to stand for peace. The panellists also called on the city of Hiroshima to continue to preserve its legacy of peace and hand it over to the younger generation.
Some of the panellists also commended Hiroshima for its resilience in reconstruction into a beautiful city. This attitude they described as “excellent” and determined to send a positive message about the city to the world.
Thanks to Hiroshima, countries around the world can give more attention to peace. — Niho Ishibashi from Japan
They acknowledged Hiroshima's potential in other areas such as the hospitality of the community and the richness of tourist attractions for the world to experience.
The panellists called on the youth to be courageous to create a positive impact on the world. They encourage fellow youth to collaborate to champion great initiatives relating to peace and common interests.
The number of young people who are interested in the tragedy of the atomic bomb or peace is not large. It will be great if we can find more young people to develop an interest in peace. You don't have to tell 10 people and they all listen. I hope that even one of them can pass on to the next person and connect like a chain so that everyone can become part of that chain toward world peace. — Issa Southern from the US
Some of the panellists were of the view that the best way the youth can influence the world is by pursuing their goals and aspirations in life.
The more kids get interested in things and learn about things; they influence the members who are close to them. It doesn't matter how old you are, if you have a positive image, start now, no matter how small. — Brady Anderson from Canada
Youth Inclusion in Policy Making and the Y7 Summit 2023 Japan
Youth Inclusion in Policy Making
Representatives from G7/G20 Youth Japan were also in attendance at the event. They are members of a non-profit organization that aims to contribute to the world and Japanese society by further increasing their motivation and interest in solving international problems and delivering their voices to diplomacy. Educating the audience on the works of the G7/G20 Youth Japan, Ms Momoka Narasaki said there was the need for policy recommendations from a youthful perspective which they noted was scarce.
Youth inclusion in policymaking is very important. Unfortunately, youth participation is scarce and gender diversity is not fully utilized in policymaking. We need to diversify the voices of the youth in policymaking. — Ms. Momoka Narasaki
To diversify the voices of the youth in Japan and make their voices heard, the G7 delegation said they have held events on international issues for high school students in Japan.
Ms. Yuri Okura a co-representative of the G7/G20 Youth Japan gave an overview of the achievements of [Y7 Summit 2023 Japan] held in early April and the delegation's visit to Hiroshima. She explained that the hands-on observations, including dialogues with atomic-bomb survivors, gave the delegation a completely different feeling from the preliminary knowledge they got about Hiroshima through books. The data they gathered from their visit was included in a communiqué handed to the Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida as a proposal.
Y7 Summit 2023 Japan
Speaking on the Y7 Summit 2023 Japan which was held on 9 April 2023, Ms. Narasaki said the event brought the voices of the youth to policymakers based on the discussions at the Summit.
They explained that during the Summit, nationals from G7 countries living in Hiroshima were invited to share their opinions on international issues and discuss policy proposals. The main agenda of the Summit according to them was based on Economic Resilience, Digital Innovation and Transformation, Climate and Environment, Global Health and Happiness, and Peace and Security.
Mr Shigeki Sasaki, Director of the UNITAR Association, closed the session by thanking the panellists for honouring the invitation to participate in the youth dialogue and for holding fruitful discussions. He also thanked the participants for their attendance. He called on everybody to be leaders and pioneers of positive change in their various fields.
The panellists of the Voice of the Youth:
- Adeline Le Mette, artist and art gallery director (France)
- Arnaldo Andrea Angiulli, PhD candidate, Hiroshima University (Italy)
- Brady Anderson, assistant language teacher (Canada)
- Daisy Whitby, Hiroshima University administrator and peace activist (UK)
- Issa Souther, student, Takeda High School (US)
- Luca Denser, translator (Germany)
- Niho Ishibashi, student, Eikei University (Japan)
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations. In 2021, UNITAR trained 370,139 learners around the world to support their actions for a better future. In addition to our headquarters in Geneva, we have offices in Hiroshima, New York, Bonn and various networks around the world.
One of the eight divisions of UNITAR, the Division for Prosperity, based in the Hiroshima Office and Geneva Headquarters, seeks to shape an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world. World-class learning and knowledge-sharing services on entrepreneurship, leadership, finance and trade, digital technologies, and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation are offered. We empower individuals from developing countries – especially women and young people – to address inequalities. Our alumni are making a difference in least-developed countries, countries emerging from conflict, and small-island developing states.