Address by His Imperial Highness The Crown Prince
at the Opening Ceremony of the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition
Sunday, September 16, 2018
Tokyo Big Sight
Madame Diane d'Arras, President of the International Water Association,
Ladies and gentlemen,
First of all, I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to those who died in the strong earthquake that occurred in eastern Iburi, Hokkaido earlier this month. I extend my deepest sympathy to the bereaved families and affected people.
It is my great pleasure that the IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition is being held here in Tokyo, with so many participants from countries all over the world.
Over many years it has been the aim of the IWA to work continuously to ensure a stable and safe water supply. This, I believe is a significant step in contributing to the world public health.
Water is indispensable for all regions and countries in order to stabilize civil life and develop societies. However, there are a great number of people in the world who are still unable to have access to safe water and appropriate sanitary facilities.
Under these circumstances, the United Nations in 2015 adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in order to, "ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all". This was to be treated as a separate subject.
SDGs consider water problems as intersecting issues, which closely relate to other goals such as the elimination of poverty, education, and gender. In addition, these are the huge challenges for the global societies towards realization of communities where no one will be left out.
Furthermore, water is primordial to all life and provides abundant blessings. On the other hand, water causes severe disasters and becomes a threat to life.
For instance, this year mainly in western Japan in July, a great number of lives were lost due to a disaster caused by torrential rains. In addition, water suspension occurred in a large number of households due to damage to waterwork facilities. Also in Cape Town, South Africa, the water supply is strictly controlled due to the consecutive droughts in recent years that have had a significant impact on people's lives. Countermeasures against water-related disasters are also critical issues that global societies should address.
Up till now, with my speech at the World Water Forum and the United Nations Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters, I have turned over in my mind the way water is involved with human beings. I believe that revisiting the history and culture of water in society will contribute considerably in solving water issues along with learning from past experiences. There are excellent examples in various countries and regions in the world including Japan.
It is necessary to apply wisdom gleaned from history and contemporary advanced technology, and to take action by collaboration with global society.
In conclusion, it is my hope that along with animated discussions in this Tokyo 2018 IWA World Water Congress & Exhibition, all participants will work together continuously towards the realization of prosperity and happiness for humankind.
Address by His Imperial Highness the Crown Prince
at the Opening Ceremony of the World Social Science Forum 2018
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Fukuoka International Congress Center
Prof. Daya Reddy, the President of the International Science Council,
Distinguished guests and participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is my great pleasure to attend this opening ceremony of the World Social Science Forum 2018 together with distinguished participants from so many countries and regions of the world.
I understand that this Forum, the theme of which is “Security and Equality for Sustainable Futures,” provides an international arena where leading scholars in the social sciences gather to seek solutions to various challenges such as worsening environmental destruction and growing inequality worldwide from the viewpoint of security and equality. I am delighted that such an important conference is being held for the first time in Asia, and, in particular, here in Fukuoka, Japan’s gateway to Asia.
This July, the International Science Council was established by merging the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and the International Council for Science (ICSU), and is now the world’s largest and most comprehensive academic association, bringing together the world academic circles through collaboration between international academic bodies in the liberal arts and those in the sciences. I believe that the creation of this Council is of great significance and will largely contribute to the advancement of the world’s academia. The World Social Science Forum 2018 is the first international conference to be held under the auspices of the International Science Council. I hope that it will be worthy of the first conference held after the creation of the ISC by serving as a forum for scholars working in humanities, social sciences and natural sciences to discuss among themselves and work together for the world’s urgent issues.
Preventing environmental destruction posed by global warming or other causes and preserving the environment, and thus maintaining a sustainable and peaceful future, are duties of humankind. It has also been a significant challenge for us to cooperate with each other to overcome the threat of disasters in a world frequently hit by natural disasters. It becomes more important today that not only researchers in the humanities and social sciences as well as the natural sciences, but also other relevant parties concerned come together to discuss and devise solutions to the various serious problems facing the world.
I would like to conclude these remarks by expressing my sincere hope that this forum will achieve fruitful results and significantly contribute to the sustainable future of our irreplaceable earth.
Thank you very much.