Hello from UNITAR: The only UN agency in Chugoku and Shikoku Regions

by Yoko Morita, UNITAR Hiroshima Office

Inspired by Hiroshima, UNITAR Works for Capacity Development

“UNITAR? Not UNICEF?” An offhand remark about the poster of Mr. Hiroki Kuroda, former UNITAR Goodwill Ambassador, was a stinging reminder that the name of UNITAR is still not well known in Hiroshima. Even though Kuroda’s blue uniform was eye-catching, the poster still did not completely convey what UNITAR is to this viewer.

Office staff usually begin outgoing phone calls by saying, “This is the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, a UN agency.” We are still asked, “Pardon?”

The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Hiroshima Office is the only UN agency in the Chugoku and Shikoku regions. The office was established 15 years ago in the Hiroshima Chamber of Commerce and Industry building, across the street from the Atomic Bomb Dome. We have worked to build capacities for peace and sustainable development for people all over the world, including countries that have experienced conflict. Through our programmes for international participants and events aimed at Hiroshima citizens, UNITAR has bridged Hiroshima and the world. We share Hiroshima’s message of peace and reconstruction with our participants and offer opportunities to learn more about far-away countries to locals.

This weekly column will introduce our steady but dynamic activities to foster human resources for a more peaceful future. We would also like to share some of the everyday experiences working in an international office.

(Originally published on May 1, 2018)