New: Division for Prosperity Launches Newsletter, August 2021

This is the first issue of the UNITAR Division of Prosperity quarterly newsletter. The newsletter will update you on the progress of our various programmes and initiatives. It will be available through the UNITAR website and social media and shared via email. To subscribe or send us questions/comments, please email:

Dai Tamesue, Japanese Record Holder of the 400m Hurdles, Appointed UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador

Dai Tamesue, UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador

Dai Tamesue, a two-time World Championship bronze medallist in the 400m hurdles, was appointed UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador in July 2021. A third-generation atomic-bomb survivor from Hiroshima City, Mr. Tamesue is the first Japanese athlete to win a medal at the World Championship in Athletics. He also represented Japan at the Sydney (2000), Athens (2004) and Beijing (2008) Olympic games. Since retiring as a professional athlete in 2012, he has dedicated himself to assisting athletes including those in countries with limited access to international-level coaches, supporting para-sports, and sharing messages for international peace with the public.

Goodwill Ambassadors are influential persons in various fields who use their talents and platform to advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to make the planet a better place for all. Mr. Tamesue’s domestic prominence, international experience as an athlete, and work for the betterment of others align him with UNITAR’s ideals and mandate. As Goodwill Ambassador, Mr. Tamesue recently took part in an online dialogue with Hiroshima youth on 6 August 2021 and will be participating in a video series on the SDG pillars. UNITAR is looking forward to working with Mr. Tamesue to use the power of sports to promote peace and mutual understanding.

UNITAR Launches New Digital Finance Initiative

UNITAR launched the Digital Finance Initiative, which aims to reduce digital inequalities and increase financial inclusion. While the global pandemic has made digital connection platforms and virtual environments more central to day-to-day life, many people are still unable to access them. Through training, this programme aims to support countries and organizations to build their people’s essential digital and financial knowledge and skills.

The launch was marked by the first annual virtual conference on digital finance held on 21 April 2021, which coincided with World Creativity and Innovation Day. The conference consisted of three panel discussions on the role of FinTech innovations in sustainable development. Panellists were from the Asian Development Bank, Deloitte Switzerland, Geneva Finance Research Institute of the University of Geneva, Instimatch Global, National Bank of Hungary, SIX Digital Exchange and Swiss Finance and Technology Association.

A series of online courses on digital finance will be launched from August 2021, covering topics from FinTech, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and combatting digital financial crime, to digital innovations for sustainable development. UNITAR is now accepting applications – please visit the following link to apply:

Watch the video for the virtual conference here.

UNITAR Launches Social Entrepreneurship Courses in Afghanistan, Iraq, and South Sudan

With the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating pre-existing inequalities in public health and employment, responding to these challenges is the focus for this year’s round of social entrepreneurship programmes. Supported by the Government of Japan, the courses seek to empower social entrepreneurs in Afghanistan, Iraq, and South Sudan so they may meet domestic social needs and promote sustainable recovery.

On 1 June 2021, UNITAR launched the Building Bridges: Entrepreneurship and Project Planning in South Sudan Programme. The online course provides South Sudanese youth with knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship, project management, and leadership. A national mentoring team is leading the training, alongside international experts, and supporting 75 young professionals from the public, private, and civic sectors, academia, and media.

UNITAR launches its COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme: Mobilizing Resilient Entrepreneurs to Address Food Insecurity, Public Health, and Unemployment – For Youth in Iraq, on 20 August 2021. The course will train 150 young innovators to create new or scale up existing businesses using design thinking, contemporary leadership, and management practices. Training will include self-paced online courses and webinars alongside a capstone project, in which participants will create a business model they pitch.

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Programme: Mobilizing Resilient Entrepreneurs to Address Food Insecurity, Public Health and Unemployment – For Women in Afghanistan is also scheduled to come. The programme aims to mobilize women entrepreneurs to address social needs in Afghanistan. Participants will be equipped with the skills to turn their ideas into self-led businesses that support recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the impact stories from South Sudan and Iraq.

Leading Inclusive 4IR: Empowering Women in Afghanistan for the Future of Work through Digital Reskilling

On 31 May 2021, UNITAR launched a new 6-week online training programme, Leading Inclusive 4IR: Empowering Women in Afghanistan for the Future of Work through Digital Reskilling. The course aims to equip participants with skills pertaining to the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), so they can address growing wage gaps, the digital divide, and new challenges in the post-COVID-19 work environment. The course will cover programming, application development, and digital literacy alongside gender-specific leadership training.

The first round of the programme had over 300 participants and successfully ended with an online hackathon, where participants could test their new skills. The second round of the programme started on 19 July 2021, with 300 participants. Two more rounds are scheduled to come.

UNITAR is also planning to launch an Inclusive 4IR programme for women and youth in the Sahel region, to be conducted in French and tailored to the needs of participants from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Senegal. UNITAR is now accepting applications for the first round; deadline to apply is 7 September 2021.

A pilot programme for Iraq is also scheduled to be launched around October this year.

The Afghanistan programme is supported with funding from the Swedish International Development Agency’s (SIDA) contribution to the UNITAR Strategic Framework Fund, while the Sahel 4IR programme will be run with support from the Government of Japan. The pilot programme will be supported by Hiroshima Prefecture.

UNITAR and ITS Education Asia Jointly Launch Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme

Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme

In partnership with ITS Education Asia, UNITAR will launch the Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific Programme in Hong Kong in September 2021. The programme will be expanded to various cities in China in 2022 and to other Asia-Pacific countries in 2023.

Youth Ambassador Asia-Pacific is a 10-week course that will train youth on sustainable development and the SDGs. The course aims to empower high school students in building back greener and better from the COVID-19 pandemic by letting them design and curate sustainable development plans. On 18 September 2021, one week before the launch of the programme, a special webinar will be held with panellists from educational institutions and NGOs, alongside alumni from the Hiroshima Youth Ambassador programme.

The Hiroshima Youth Ambassador Programme was first launched in 2010 and has now been running for 11 years; the programme recently launched its latest round on 25 July 2021. This year, 22 Hiroshima Youth Ambassadors will participate in online workshops over three months to learn about and advocate for the SDGs.

Read a Youth Ambassador's story here.


Thanks to the UN Volunteers who helped design our newsletter:
Muhammad Rashedul Hasan, Paul Ssemanda, Riffat Abbas, Grace Gunawan, and Deepika Nijwala.

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