World first UNITAR support organization established in Hiroshima aims to hold events using fund-raising campaigns

by Takafumi Hatayama, Staff Writer

The UNITAR ASSOCIATION, which was established in Naka Ward, Hiroshima, to support the activities of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), exchanged a memorandum at the UNITAR Hiroshima Office in Naka Ward for both organizations to cooperate with each other. According to the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, the UNITAR ASSOCIATION is the very first UNITAR support organization established in the world. The association aims to recruit members and raise funds for planning and operating various events for local communities.

The UNITAR ASSOCIATION is a general incorporated association, and it aims to widely disseminate an understanding of the UNITAR through its activities. Its headquarters is at the UNITAR Hiroshima Office. The president of the association is Kenzo Oshima, 76, who was born in Higashi Ward, Hiroshima, and served as the former Japanese ambassador to the United Nations. The association has four staff including those who also work for the UNITAR Hiroshima Office.

The association’s main operation themes are sports and peace; the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and education; and the empowerment of women. These three themes have been set as the pillars of its operation. The association is going to plan a relay related to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic games and educational projects regarding nuclear disarmament. Initially, it will develop its activities mainly in and around Hiroshima City, but it eventually aims to expand throughout the Chugoku and Shikoku regions and then all throughout Japan.

The memorandum signing ceremony was held at the UNITAR Hiroshima Office. President Oshima strongly said, “Hiroshima is well known all around the world and such sports as soccer and baseball are popular in Hiroshima. I’d like to use these attributes in its activities so that we can make a contribution to the international community.”

The UNITAR is an organization that provides trainings and research for diplomats of the United Nation’s member countries. Its headquarters is in Geneva, Switzerland. It opened the Hiroshima Office in 2003 as its third base following one in New York.

(Originally published on March 6)