Specialists to be fostered for reconstruction of Iraq

by Toshiko Bajo, Staff Writer

The Hiroshima Office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) will initiate a program to foster Iraqi specialists in post-war reconstruction from 2011. On December 9, Alex Mejia, head of the UNITAR Hiroshima Office, visited the Hiroshima Prefectural Government and explained the program to Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki.

The program will involve about 50 Iraqi government officials and offer a training course in two areas: public policy and post-war reconstruction. The training courses will be provided for a period of about six months, like the "UNITAR Hiroshima Fellowship for Afghanistan," which has been conducted every year by the UNITAR Hiroshima Office since 2003. The program will also involve a training component in which trainees will learn about Hiroshima's reconstruction during a visit to the city.

Governor Yuzaki said, "It is our job to make the greatest possible efforts toward peace. I hope the trainees will see Hiroshima's reconstruction with their own eyes and such an experience will give them hope."

About 180 bureaucrats and specialists have taken part in the UNITAR Hiroshima Office project for Afghanistan so far. After undergoing the training, they have been carrying out their roles in post-war reconstruction efforts and peace-building activities.

(Originally published on December 10, 2009)

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