NERPS Conference 2023 in Thailand successfully held

The Network for Education and Research (NERPS) at Hiroshima University partnered with the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) in hosting the NERPS Conference 2023 from February 28 to March 3, 2023 in Thailand. This was the second international conference organized by NERPS following the success of the first Hiroshima International Conference on Peace and Sustainability (HICPS) held at Hiroshima University in 2022.

At the opening ceremony, Prof. Kazuo Yamamoto, Interim President of AIT, welcomed the participants and shared the sustainability initiatives of AIT. Mr. Yuichi Oba, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister (Economic Affairs), the Embassy of Japan in Thailand then gave his remarks about the significance of the conference in facilitating dialogue about various global issues. Following that, Prof. Shinji Kaneko, Executive Vice President and NERPS Director, Hiroshima University / Conference Chair, highlighted the value of the conference in bringing people together to share ideas pertinent to peace and sustainability. In addition, he underscored the role of NERPS as an international hub in bridging and interlacing various stakeholders.

Former Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand H.E. Dr. Suwit Khunkitti, and 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) delivered the keynote speeches.

Concluding the conference was Prof. Shobhakar Dhakal, Vice President (Academic Affairs) of AIT, who encouraged the delegates to further strengthen the connections they made at the conference in order to achieve peaceful and sustainable societies. During the closing ceremony, Prof. Dhakal, together with conference co-chairs Prof. Ayyoob Sharifi and Dr. Dahlia Simangan of Hiroshima University, also presented the three best paper awards and three best presentation awards to selected students/early-career researchers.

There were 187 researchers, practitioners, and students from 69 universities from 24 countries who participated in the conference. This includes 33 eligible students who received conference scholarships.

Prof. Shobhakar Dhakal is joined by 33 conference scholarship recipients and Hiroshima University’s JDS students.

The conference accommodated a total of 139 oral presentations across 37 sessions, including panel discussions, roundtables, and workshops. Eight universities and institutions contributed as partners to the success of this conference by organizing and facilitating sessions.

The Institute for Economics & Peace also held a Positive Peace workshop as a side event on the final day of the conference.

The 3rd conference is scheduled to be conducted at Hiroshima University from March 6–9, 2024, with the theme, Navigating Peace and Sustainability in an Increasingly Complex World.

The NERPS 2023 Conference was generously 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.