Financial inclusion: New joint project with partner AGFUND
AGFUND and UNITAR signed a new agreement in February 2022 to establish the Global Partnership Hub. The hub aims to enhance education, research and innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and accelerate financial inclusion for low-income countries. UNITAR Executive Director Nikhil Seth and Director of Division for Prosperity Mihoko Kumamoto joined the signing ceremony in Saudi Arabia.
In December 2021, UNITAR signed two other agreements with AGFUND. One was for financial inclusion and women empowerment in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East (to be implemented by the Division for Prosperity). The other was for training 1,100 obstetric and gynaecological care providers in Afghanistan (with the Division for Peace). The signing ceremony took place in Geneva, alongside the annual awarding ceremony of the Prince Talal International Prize for Human Development. The prize carries a financial reward of US$ 1,000,000 to promote pioneering projects that support human development and the SDGs.
360-Degree Virtual Tours Bring Hiroshima to the World: UNITAR Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Training
UNITAR Division for Prosperity will add 360-degree virtual tours to its training programme on nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation. The latest round of the programme will be held online from 25 February to 18 March 2022. The 3D technologies will help bring powerful on-site experiences to learning via laptops and mobile devices. Experiencing Hiroshima in person was at the heart of the programme before the COVID-19 pandemic forced UNITAR to move online.
The 360-degree tours will include the Peace Memorial Park, a symbol of Hiroshima’s destruction and reconstruction from the atomic bomb. Participants will get a special glimpse inside the Atomic Bomb Dome, which is usually closed to visitors. UNITAR also plans to make part of the virtual tours publicly available from its website.
UNITAR Division for Prosperity has been training government officials in negotiation skills for nuclear disarmament since 2015. The virtual tours will complement microlearning modules, webinars with global experts and a mock negotiation exercise.
UNITAR Social Entrepreneurship with Digital Health: Empowering women and youth to accelerate prosperity and close the digital divide in healthcare
UNITAR Division for Prosperity in partnership with Columbia Business School is launching a 2-week online course to upskill (1) women and youth entrepreneurs who are interested in digital health and (2) women and youth healthcare professionals (such as medical practitioners, hospital administrators, and medical sales representatives). Financial support comes from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency through the UNITAR Strategic Framework Fund for its Afghanistan learners, Hiroshima Prefecture for Iraqi learners, and the Government of Japan for the Sahel region.
The course will launch on 7 March 2022 in Afghanistan and Iraq and on 14 March 2022 in Sahelian countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal). It will address digital health, entrepreneurship, and the intersection of the two. Columbia Business School provided the following lessons:
- Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship: Technopreneurship – Telemedicine – Wearable devices – Entrepreneurial strategies
- Introduction to Digital Health: Patient-centred theories – Population health – Health Information technology – Tele-health – Contextualized health
UNITAR 2021 Disaster Risk Reduction Programme concludes with public webinar
On 26 January 2022, UNITAR concluded the 2021 Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) Training Programme with a public online panel discussion on Pacific women’s leadership. Panellists included representatives from the Samoa Red Cross Society, Fiji National Disaster Management Office, and Welfare and Disaster Prevention Community Association from Japan. They discussed the urgent and complex disaster risks that small island developing states and Japan face, as well as how gender perspectives could be better integrated into DRR policies and practices.
Two recent DRR alumnae from the Kingdom of Tonga also shared their experiences of the recent volcanic eruption and tsunami that struck their country. Their UNITAR training helped them assist family and friends by instructing them to follow official evacuation instructions and quickly get to safety. Although the two alums were in Japan at the time, they found that the DRR course had helped them understand the whole scenario of a disaster, from preparations to recovery, which helped them to navigate this difficult time.
With financial support from the Government of Japan, the UNITAR DRR Programme will continue to support women to lead disaster risk management practices in small Pacific Island developing states.
Young South Sudanese Inspired to Bring Prosperity to Country
The 2020–2021 UNITAR Building Bridges: Entrepreneurship and Project Planning in South Sudan Programme came to an end in October 2021, with close to 100 participants completing the course. Supported by Government of Japan, the programme trained young professionals on entrepreneurship, project management and leadership. It sought to empower South Sudanese youth to help reconstruct and develop their country as it emerges from decades of conflict.
Through a self-paced online course, participants learned the basics of entrepreneurship including project planning, organizational needs assessments, and environmental analysis, as well as project implementation, and leadership.
Two alumnae, Tabu Elder and Baria Johnson Kibo, are already putting these lessons to use – Tabu is teaching these skills to start-up entrepreneurs and local businesses while planning her own community project pertaining to water, sanitation and hygiene. Meanwhile, Baria conducted a needs assessment at her workplace, Radio Bakhita, to improve the operations of the radio station.
Because the COVID-19 pandemic made in-person learning unsuitable, this round of the programme was run entirely online. Because the internet in South Sudan is unstable and costly, UNITAR Division of Prosperity provided SIM cards with internet bundles to learners and coaches, so that participants could complete their online learning.
UNITAR Response to COVID-19 Crisis: Empowering the Sahel Region through Digital Reskilling and Upskilling training programme alum Mohamadou Bello is passionate about enhancing educational opportunities for youth and women. He is developing a multilingual online learning platform in Cameroon.
Mustafa Musa Jaber and Mohammed Majid Ibraheem Al Hakeem learned from the Iraqi Youth Entrepreneurship Training Programme the knowledge and skills to implement their respective initiatives – recycling plastics and planting trees – to combat the rising environmental problems in Iraq.
Diplomats gathered for the UNITAR Hiroshima Training Programme on Nuclear Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. Among them was Mongolian diplomat Amaraa Erdenebaatar, who is dedicated to serving as a negotiator from a nuclear-weapon-free country. UNITAR commemorated the 76th anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing on 6 August 2021 with a public webinar.
Four UNITAR Youth Ambassadors in Asia and the Pacific – Alvin Wong, Anna Wei, Bella Li and Jane Poon – won awards for their projects to achieve the SDGs. The projects address issues in the Youth Ambassadors’ communities through music, online platforms, and networking solutions. Youth Ambassadors in both Hiroshima and the Asia-Pacific are tackling climate change and pursuing their goals for a better world.
UNITAR to host online conference on digital infrastructure and literacy
UNITAR Division for Prosperity will host a one-day online conference “Closing the Digital Divide: Strengthening Digital Literacy and Infrastructure in the Sahel Region, Iraq and Afghanistan” on 24 March 2022, from 10:00 to 15:40 CET. The conference will be in English and French. RSVP at: https://unitar-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_cZxezyjiTRGCGHj5t88NhA
Individuals and regional stakeholders will openly discuss challenges, opportunities, trends, best practices, and lessons learned to improve digital infrastructures and increase digital literacy to “leave no one behind”. Panellists for the event will be from the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF), International Telecommunication Union (ITU), German aid agency GIZ, the Saudi Digital Cooperation Organization, GSMA, and the governments of Sweden and Japan.
UNITAR Division for Prosperity and Central Bank of Hungary (Magyar Nemzeti Bank – MNB) launched a new partnership to develop a training programme on the digitalization of the financial sector. The new programme will focus on central banks’ role in supporting digital finance and sustainable development. It will primarily target financial professionals and regulatory authority officials. Topics will include digitalization of the financial sector, the fintech ecosystem, payment innovation, digital currencies, and digital transformation. MNB will also be an official partner for UNITAR’s annual Digital Finance Conference.
Apply for the 5-week online course Blockchain, AI, and other Digital Technologies: Applications and Implications for Sustainable Development! The course will start on 28 March 2022. You will learn about four impactful digital technologies with the biggest potential to improve our accelerating world: artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies, robotics and automation, and the Internet of Things (IoT). To learn more about other upcoming online courses on FinTech, trade, and finance, please visit here.
Free webinar: Close the gender gap in the IT field
Join us on International Women’s Day to explore how to close the gender gap in the IT field! A free webinar will be held 5-7 pm (JST/UTC+9) on Tuesday, 8 March 2022. RSVP at: https://bit.ly/3rqVlLw
Hosted by UNITAR Division for Prosperity, Waffle.org, and UNITAR Association, five high school students will present what they learned in a recent STEM workshop. A panel will then discuss the gender gap in STEM and ways to achieve gender equality. Panellists will include Mr. Dai Tamesue (UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador), Ms. Asumi Saito (Co-Founder of the NPO Waffle.org), and Ms. Raghad Hav (Founder of the She Codes Too, a learning initiative for women in Iraq). The STEM workshop was held in January and February 2022 for young women high school students in Hiroshima to learn about the SDGs and coding.