#013 Challenging to get a video message from UN top, the Secretary-General!

Hello! This time’s diary is written by Ayaka, who belongs to the Project Manager Team!

On August 6, 2020, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent a video message to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.
He was scheduled to visit Hiroshima to attend the ceremony, but that was not possible due to Covid-19 pandemic.

In the video message to the ceremony, he expressed his thoughts about peace.
He said, “Young people have an important role. They-and civil society as a whole- have proved their power time and again in support of the cause of disarmament. We should listen to their ideas and give them space to make their voices heard.”

This is exactly the idea behind the HIP HOPE Conference. This conference is organized by high school students.It is a place for high school students who live in Hiroshima to send messages about peace, and to share their thoughts with other high school students worldwide. That’s what we want to do.

The United Nations is a unique organization of independent countries committed to working together for world peace and social development.
When we realized that what the Secretary-General said and our goal was going in the same direction, we decided to ask him to send us a message to inspire the youths.

We started to write a letter of request in January, 2021.
First, we discussed what we wanted to include in our letter to Mr. Guterres, and we wrote our letter in Japanese.
Then, we moved on to the English translation. There were many barriers to accurate English translation.
One of them is how to express unique wording and ways of thinking of Japanese in English.
Sometimes, simply translated Japanese messages that we want to convey will not get our message across to English speakers.
We thought carefully about which English words to use to express our thoughts more effectively.
At the end, we managed to translate our letter.

Such a difficult task writing letters in English, we spent many hours and days to write and revise. To attract the attention of the readers like you, and to make you feel passion and share our ideas, we had to convey the same amount of passion, or even more. Well, I think we did our best to show our passion for the HIP HOPE Conference that we intend to hold.

With the help of many people, including UNITAR editors, we completed a four-page letter in English. It took about four months to send the letter.
And the letter was sent by the governor of Hiroshima Prefecture. It was a long journey, but the letter we wrote, packed with our passion and thoughts, finally crossed the border and flew to Mr. Guterres. Geez, I have never thought I write a letter to the Secretary-General of the UN. We all are very excited to have such opportunities even under Covid-19.