Employees of Afghan government visit Peace Memorial Museum as part of local UNITAR office training program

On November 16, 63 employees of the government of Afghanistan, where political instability persists, toured the Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima’s Naka Ward. Their visit, part of a training program planned by the local office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), gave the participants an opportunity to learn about the horrors of the atomic bombing as well as the city’s recovery.

Prior to the tour, Noriyuki Masuda, deputy director of the museum, spoke about the inhumanity of nuclear weapons and outlined the facility’s mission in English. Several participants eagerly asked questions on Japan’s energy policy and other topics. During the tour, the visitors saw a model of the burned-out city center and personal possessions of A-bombing victims. Ahmad Seeiar Serat, 27, an employee of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Finance, said that the tour enabled him to “feel the pain” of residents but that he was inspired at the same time. He also said that although Afghanistan was still unstable and faced challenges, he hoped that residents could build peace and “reconstruct our hometown as people in Japan did.”

The UNITAR training program has been conducted annually since fiscal year 2003. The program takes place over the course of approximately six months in cities including Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, and Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. The participants will be in Hiroshima through November 21. Their training will include hearing an account of the experiences of an atomic bomb survivor.

(Originally published on November 17, 2015)