31 officials from 9 nations attend training in Hiroshima about nuclear disarmament

A training program for foreign and defense ministry personnel of Southeast Asian nations began on February 26 in Hiroshima. Thirty-one officials from nine countries will learn about the humanitarian consequences of the use of nuclear weapons and the current state of nuclear disarmament during this six-day training through March 3. This program has been organized by the Hiroshima Office of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). On the first day, the participants visited the Peace Memorial Park.

After offering a wreath of flowers at the Cenotaph for the A-bomb Victims, they toured the Peace Memorial Museum, where they observed a computer graphics display that depicts how the city was annihilated by the atomic bomb and saw the personal belongings of victims, among other exhibits.

Arlene Macaisa, 49, from the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, laid a wreath on behalf of the participants. She said that she had listened to a survivor’s testimony at an international conference and was moved, adding that she hopes to deepen her knowledge in Hiroshima and contribute to nuclear disarmament. The participants then met with Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui at City Hall. Mr. Matsui asked them to help expand the membership of Mayors for Peace.

The training program was launched in fiscal 2015 with the aim of nurturing human resources capable of taking the lead in international negotiations for nuclear disarmament. This is the third such training session. On February 27, the participants will listen to an A-bomb survivor and learn from experts about the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty regime.

(Originally published on February 27, 2018)