On 23–24 April 2022 UNU contributed to the 4th Asia-Pacific Water Summit, held in Kumamoto, Japan. The summit gathered leaders from Asia and the Pacific to discuss key water challenges faced by the region. It announced the Kumamoto Declaration — a commitment to jointly accelerate efforts to ensure water and sanitation for all.
Akio Takemoto (Programme Head, UNU-IAS) delivered a statement on behalf of the Rector of the United Nations University in a high-level session attended by ambassadors and heads of international organisations located in Japan, with government leaders participating online. Dr Takemoto outlined water challenges in the Asia-Pacific region, exemplified by the interconnected impacts of unsustainable food consumption, water stress and pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions, and underlined the need for social transformation and partnerships to achieve the SDGs. He emphasised the importance of science and education in addressing water issues, highlighting the UNU-IAS research project Water for Sustainable Development and the institute’s postgraduate degree specialisation on the Paris Agreement, which will be launched in Autumn 2023.
Over 140 representatives from 30 countries, including Heads of State and Government, attended the event online. Under the summit’s theme “Water for Sustainable Development — Best Practices and the Next Generation”, leaders shared concerns about the impacts of climate change and COVID-19 on the implementation of key water policies, and expressed their unwavering commitment to achieving SDG 6. Japan pledged to contribute JPY 500 billion over five years to support water initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region.
UNU also delivered an online exhibition on the university’s water research, which can be viewed here (registration required).
For more information on UNU-IAS water research please visit the Water for Sustainable Development project page.