21 July 2023, Hiroshima, Japan – The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) held ceremonies in Tokyo and Hiroshima to celebrate its 60th anniversary and the 20th anniversary of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office. The ceremony in Tokyo was held at the United Nations University on 29 June, while the ceremony in Hiroshima was held at Mielparque Hiroshima Hotel on 30 June.
The Tokyo ceremony was attended by approximately 100 guests including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Yoshimasa HAYASHI and guests from the House of Representatives, House of Councillors, foreign diplomatic missions to Japan and international organizations in Japan. The Hiroshima ceremony was joined by approximately 100 guests including Hiroshima Prefecture Governor Mr. Hidehiko YUZAKI and Mayor of Hiroshima City Mr. Kazumi MATSUI. The reception after the Hiroshima ceremony welcomed over 200 guests including the UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador Mr. Dai TAMESUE, UNITAR Association members, UNITAR Division for Prosperity Advisory Board Chair Mr. Michael FORS, and local UNITAR supporters.
Ceremony in Tokyo
The ceremony in Tokyo opened with a word of appreciation from the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UNITAR Executive Director Mr. Nikhil SETH, addressed to the Government of Japan, Hiroshima Prefecture, Hiroshima City and guests and partners who support UNITAR’s vision.
As we celebrate 60 years of UNITAR focusing on capacity building in developing countries and 20 years of Hiroshima Office, we are even more determined to do what we can to step up our act in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals." –Nikhil Seth, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UNITAR Executive Director
Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Yoshimasa HAYASHI congratulated UNITAR for its achievements in building the capacity of people around the world and stressed the importance of UNITAR to continue providing its expertise.
As an organization with a mission to develop the capabilities of people, UNITAR will play an increasingly important role. I hope that UNITAR will contribute to the attainment of the SDGs [Sustainable Development Goals] and human resources development in a wide range of development issues. The Government of Japan will continue to contribute to sustainable development in close collaboration with UNITAR." —Yoshimasa Hayashi, Minister of Foreign Affairs
Special guests also shared their messages. Mr. Minoru TERADA the Member of the House of Representatives spoke on behalf of many parliamentarians that attended, to congratulate the UNITAR Hiroshima Office for the achievements of the past 20 years, recollecting the days when UNITAR was brought to Hiroshima.
Ambassador Mr. Abdul Kareem KAAB, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Iraq to Japan spoke about the contributions of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office for capacity building in the Middle East.
Deputy Director-General of International Affairs of the Digital Agency Mr. Nobuyuki HIRATSUKA also voiced his congratulations for the special occasion and UNITAR’s recent training programmes for digital upskilling and reskilling.
Ceremony and Reception in Hiroshima
The ceremony in Hiroshima opened with a word of appreciation from United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UNITAR Executive Director Mr. Nikhil SETH to the people of Hiroshima and was followed by a speech from the Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture, Mr. Hidehiko YUZAKI, who expressed his appreciation to the Hiroshima Office and its achievements over the past 20 years.
The UNITAR Hiroshima Office is an important partner in promoting peace in Hiroshima. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and cooperation in many ways, such as co-hosting dialogue events and side events at UN conferences." —Hidehiko Yuzaki, Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture
The Mayor of Hiroshima City, Mr. Kazumi MATSUI, also shared words of congratulations and commented on the importance of UNITAR to continue conducting training to send messages of peace to the world.
The workshop on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation, which has been conducted together with the city since 2015, has contributed to the training of experts on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation in Asian countries and is of great significance to the city. I look forward to UNITAR Hiroshima Office contributing further for peaceful and sustainable development of the world through their training programmes." —Kazumi Matsui, Mayor of Hiroshima City
Other guests who shared their messages to UNITAR included:
- Mr. Seiki SORAMOTO, a member of the House of Representatives
- Mr. Takeshi AKAHORI, Ambassador, Assistant Minister, Director-General for Global Issues, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Mr. Toshihiro HIYAMA, Chairperson of the Federation of Hiroshima Prefectural Assembly Members for Supporting UNITAR
- Mr. Shigeki SASAKI, Board of Directors, UNITAR Association
The ceremony ended with words from Ms. Mihoko KUMAMOTO, Director of the UNITAR Division for Prosperity and the Hiroshima Office.
People are the core of nation-building, community-building, and society-building. UNITAR will continue to work together with the people of Japan and other countries to bring peace and prosperity to the world through capacity building. We would like to express our deepest gratitude for your support for the past 20 years and ask for your continued support in building a sustainable future." —Mihoko Kumamoto, Director, UNITAR Division for Prosperity and Hiroshima Office
A reception followed with guests from the Hiroshima community, where the chair of the UNITAR Division for Prosperity Advisory Board Mr. Michael FORS remarked on the accomplishments of UNITAR and the Hiroshima Office over the years. He named the stakeholders as part of the UNITAR family and underlined the importance of working together as a whole to solve the most challenging global issues we face.
With the hearts united, together we will succeed." —Michael Fors, Chair, UNITAR Division for Prosperity Advisory Board
- Kagami-biraki (the Japanese tradition of opening a sake barrel to mark new beginnings)
- Director-General / Assistant Minister, Global Issues Cooperation Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Takeshi AKAHORI, Chairperson of UNITAR Supporting Group Prefectural Assembly Member Group, Mr. Toshihiro HIYAMA, Member of the House of Representatives, Mr. Hiroshi HIRAGUCHI, UNITAR Executive Director, Mr. Nikhil SETH, Governor of Hiroshima Prefecture, Mr. Hidehiko YUZAKI, UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador Mr. Dai Tamesue, Vice-Chairperson of the Hiroshima Prefectural Assembly, Mr. Naoyuki OGATA, Board of Director of the UNITAR Association, Mr. Shigeki SASAKI (left to right)
- Reappointment of UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador Mr. Dai TAMESUE
- Special remarks from a UNITAR alumna from Afghanistan, Ms. Brishna ORYA
- Afghanistan Fellowship Programme Book introduction by Ms. Nassrine AZIMI, former Director of UNITAR Hiroshima Office
Since its establishment in 1963, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) has contributed to capacity building around the world as a United Nations agency specializing in training. The UNITAR Hiroshima Office was set up in 2003 as UNITAR’s third office after its Geneva headquarters and New York Office. To this day, UNITAR Hiroshima Office stands as the only United Nations agency in the Chugoku/Shikoku prefectures of Japan.
UNITAR Hiroshima Office's 20th Anniversary Video
The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) is a dedicated training arm of the United Nations. In 2022, UNITAR trained 396,046 learners around the world to support their actions for a better future. In addition to our headquarters in Geneva, UNITAR has offices in Hiroshima, New York and Bonn and networks around the world.
One of the eight divisions of UNITAR, the Division for Prosperity / Hiroshima Office seeks to shape an inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world. Our learning and knowledge-sharing services cover entrepreneurship, leadership, finance and trade, digital technologies, and nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. 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.