Government officials from 10 Asian nations seek ways to advance nuclear disarmament through UNITAR Hiroshima training program

by Yuji Yamamoto, Staff Writer

A training program in which government officials from 10 Asian nations who are involved in diplomacy and security matters are learning about nuclear disarmament began on February 26 in Hiroshima. The program, organized by the Hiroshima Office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), will continue until March 3. During this period, the program participants will be given lectures about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Treaty on the Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), the Review Conference of which will be held in 2020.

The participants are comprised of 19 people from five Southeast Asian countries including Myanmar and East Timor, Sri Lanka from South Asia, as well as Kazakhstan and Mongolia. On the first day of the program, they visited the Peace Memorial Park and the Atomic Bomb Dome under the guidance of the UNITAR staff, and offered flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims. They also visited the Peace Memorial Museum.

As part of their training, the participants will listen to the A-bomb experiences of A-bomb survivors, and learn how to negotiate at international conferences using role play activities. They will also take part in a tour to observe some A-bombed trees. Khaimar Wint Zin Thant, 26, who is in charge of disarmament at Myanmar’s Foreign Ministry, said, “It is heartbreaking to learn about the victims of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.” She added with enthusiasm that she would like to gain an in-depth knowledge of disarmament and determine the best approach for arms reduction with other participants who hold various views and perspectives.

(Originally published on February 27, 2019)