- Professor Akiko Yuge, a member of the UNITAR Board of Trustees, visited Hiroshima Office for the first time.
- Professor Yuge believes UNITAR has the agility to stay relevant in the long term.
- In an increasingly complex world, UNITAR can offer capacity-building to empower people to make better decisions.
27 February 2023, Hiroshima, Japan – Professor Akiko Yuge, a member of the UNITAR Board of Trustees, visited the UNITAR Division for Prosperity, Hiroshima Office to observe the in-person nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation training of 18 government officials from Asian foreign affairs and defence authorities.
The UNITAR Hiroshima Nuclear Disarmament And Non-Proliferation Training Programme which has been running since 2015 gives participants a deep understanding of the latest nuclear-arms-control debate and prepares them for such conferences as the Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
This year’s training was the first to be held in person since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants came from Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Viet Nam.
Professor Yuge expressed satisfaction with the training offered to the participants. She described the training programme as powerful, practical and effective – not least because the skills the participants practice are something they can immediately apply to their work.
She was also impressed that UNITAR could arrange to have such top-notch resource persons.
To benefit from such experienced persons who have been there, who have gone through this kind of negotiation, and knowing what has happened over the years – that is fantastic. I was very impressed, Professor Yuge said.
Visiting the Hiroshima Office
Professor Yuge said she was excited to visit the Hiroshima Office for the first time since her appointment to the UNITAR Board of Trustees in October 2022. She was particularly struck by the location of the Office.
When I walked into the office, from the window, I saw the Peace Memorial Park and the atomic bomb dome. That made a very strong impression on me. It is the right place to be thinking about peace, how Japan transformed from [destruction], and what is needed to prevent such devastation from happening again.
Agility to Stay Relevant in the Coming Years
As UNITAR Hiroshima Office celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2023 and UNITAR celebrates its sixtieth, Professor Yuge is confident that UNITAR will continue to be relevant in the coming decades.
“Now, a crisis interacts and intersects with other crises. And solutions are becoming more complex,” she said. It is a world where there will always be the need for capacity-building to empower people to make better decisions.
The agility of UNITAR to adjust and create new training programmes to meet current and evolving needs makes UNITAR unique. With our unique offers, good experience, and good knowledge base, we can come up with the right training programme to deal with complex, multi-crisis problems. And that’s why I really look forward to UNITAR 20 years from now.
Message to Training Participants: Share Your Knowledge
Professor Yuge called on current and future participants of UNITAR training programmes to fully use the knowledge and skills they gain and to share their knowledge with others.
Share your knowledge with others. Share with your colleagues, and share with other partners. Make full use of it and you will benefit from it. Your organization, your country and the world will benefit.
She also encourages participants to keep up with the UNITAR alumni network. “It’s a fantastic network and it’s expanding. It’s a valuable treasure so please use it to make this world a better place.”
About Professor Akiko Yuge
Until her appointment to the UNITAR Board of Trustees in October 2022, Akiko Yuge served as a professor in the Department of Politics of the Faculty of Law, Hosei University (Tokyo). She had a 30-year distinguished career in the United Nations, which culminated in her appointment as Assistant Secretary-General/Assistant Administrator and Director, Bureau of Management, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Professor Yuge also served UNDP in other capacities, including Director of the UNDP Representation Office in Tokyo and Special Advisor to the UNDP Administrator. Among her many achievements, she strengthened UNDP’s strategic partnerships with Japan in policy dialogue, resource mobilization, joint projects and media coverage and visibility.
The UNITAR Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees is UNITAR’s governing body. The Board is composed of a small, yet highly diverse group of distinguished trustees who are appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General, in consultation with the President of the General Assembly and the President of the Economic and Social Council. Trustees are eligible for a maximum of two consecutive, three-year terms.