By the Office of Public Affairs
Bridging Peace and Sustainability amidst Global Transformations
March 3, 2023 – Experts, researchers, students, and practitioners from over 20 countries working on issues related to peace, sustainability, and their nexus have come together at the NERPS Conference 2023 in Thailand to discuss the continued inter- and trans-disciplinary research and policy conversations.
The Network for Education and Research on Peace and Sustainability (NERPS) at Hiroshima University and the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) jointly hosted the conference from 28 February to 3 March. The conference is the second edition of the Hiroshima International Conference on Peace and Sustainability in the Context of Global Change.
Welcoming the participants Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto, AIT President, said, “The pursuit of sustainability is not just a mandate for AIT; it is a responsibility that we all embrace with passion. This conference on peace and sustainability is an opportunity for us to contribute to the scientific discourse and strengthen our collaborations towards a sustainable future in Asia and beyond.”
Mr. Yuichi Oba, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister (Economic Affairs), Embassy of Japan in Thailand urged all to come together to bridge peace and sustainability in order to achieve the SDGs. He added, “NERPS conference is both timely and meaningful. I hope the productive discussions here will enable us to achieve our common goal.”
Prof. Shinji Kaneko, Executive Vice President and NERPS Director, Hiroshima University / Conference Chair, shared that the conference provides a unique opportunity for individuals from different parts of the world to share their ideas about peace and sustainability. He said, “the role of NERPS as an international hub is to bridge and interlace various stakeholders. Our aim is to continue our trans-disciplinary dialogue and gain a better understanding of the complex and interconnected challenges to achieving peace and sustainability.”
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand H.E. Dr. Suwit Khunkitti, the keynote speaker, stressed that the conference topic is very relevant, intriguing, and diverse, especially considering the current increase in discussions about transformation and conflict occurring globally. “As we gather at this conference to discuss the interrelated notions of transformation, sustainability, and peace, let us approach the challenges ahead with open minds and a willingness to learn from diverse perspectives. By elevating the disparities in our understanding and insight, we can work towards just and workable solutions for a better future. I am hopeful that this gathering will provide the insights and inspiration we need to move forward together towards a harmonious limit of peace, sustainability, and transformation,” he added.
Ms. Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia, and the Pacific (ESCAP), also delivered the keynote speech on the second day.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Prof. Shobhakar Dhakal, Vice President of Academic Affairs at AIT, motivated the participants to solidify their connections made during the conference to establish peaceful and sustainable societies.
A total of 187 researchers, practitioners, and students from 69 universities in 24 countries participated in the conference, including 33 eligible students who received conference scholarships.
The NERPS 2023 Conference was supported by sponsorships from Columbia University, MDPI Japan, and the Embassy of Japan in Thailand. Conference partners include Kyushu University Urban Research Center, Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, Elsevier, Columbia University, University of Nottingham Ningbo China, Earth System Governance, Institute of Environmental Studies at Chulalongkorn University, and the Graduate School of Global Studies at Thammasat University.