International Symposium on Water and Culture

Chair’s Statement

Summary of Proceedings

Program of the Symposium

HELP organized the International Symposium on Water and Culture with the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS), United Nations Centre for Regional Cooperation (UNCRD), and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) Netherlands on February 3rd, 2020 at GRIPS in Tokyo in the presence of The Emperor and Empress of Japan.

The Symposium aimed to help our deeper understanding of relations between the people and water by visiting water heritage around the world. The keynote addresses were delivered by Mr. Nicolas Franke, Sustainable Development Officer of UNDESA (as a representative of Mr. Liu Zhenmin, Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, the United Nations) under the title of “Connectivity between Water and Culture – A foundation for Sustainable Development” and H.E. Dr. Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia on “The Culture and Management of Water in Angkor Park.”

Leading experts and researchers on water and cultures invited from various parts of the world introduced cases, share their experiences and knowledge, and discussed findings and lessons from the heritage. The role water can and should play for regional development in the world was also discussed. The outcome of the Symposium will contribute to creating new horizon of water discussion leading to advancement of water dialogue processes, including the Asia Pacific Water Summit in 2020, the 9th World Water Forum, UN High-Level Meeting on Water in 2021, and the UN Water Decade’s Mid-Term Review in 2023, and fully achieving SDGs.

During the opening session of the Symposium, the ceremony for establishment of Tokyo Satellite Office of the UNCRD was organized and the signboard for the office was handed over from Mr. Endo, Director of UNCRD to Prof. Tanaka, the President of GRIPS, which hosts the Tokyo Office.