23-25 October 2019 | HAMAMATSU – With the theme “Sustainable Community Building through International Cooperation of Cities,” Hamamatsu City, Japan Foundation, and UCLG ASPAC supported by the Government of Japan, organised the “Hamamatsu International Summit on Intercity Collaboration 2019” from 23 to 25 October 2019 at the ACT City Congress Center in Hamamatsu, Japan. Delegates included UCLG ASPAC member cities, Intercultural Cities network member cities and representatives from local governments and other institutions in Japan.

The Practical Applications Session highlighted the “Skills Support regarding Leak Prevention Initiatives in Bandung City,” a 2-year project that enabled Hamamatsu City to share their expertise with Bandung City by training a special team in Bandung to specialise on leak prevention and creating an instruction manual for water supply construction work to improve water distribution and reduce leakages. Discussions on “Mutual Exchanges for Local Community Building” featured key institutions that have been awarded “The Japan Foundation Prize for Global Citizenship” for their instrumental work in promoting international exchange and on “Community Building that Makes Use of Diversity Advantage” focused on the work of Intercultural City members such as Ballarat City (Australia) and Botkyrka City (Sweden).

During the Mayor’s Summit, UCLG ASPAC members shared their initiatives in different sessions. UCLG ASPAC Secretary General Dr. Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi delivered the keynote speech and emphasised how closely connected the world is, particularly the challenges that cities face. Cities are key players in the achievement of sustainable development goals and UCLG’s role as the single largest network of cities is to bring the voices of cities together to be heard by bigger institutions and to facilitate city-to-city cooperation.

In the session on “Foreign Ties for the Development of Local Governments,” Iriga City Mayor Madelaine Yorobe Alfelor stated how the city grew through international partnerships and the city’s initiatives on disaster risk reduction. National Association of Rural Municipality in Nepal (NARMIN) Chairman Mr. Narayan Shrestha discussed how international cooperation on local governance accelerated for cities in Nepal after they gained democracy in 1993. Local Councils Association of Punjab, Pakistan (LCAP) President who is also Mayor of Toba Tak Singh District, Ms. Fozia Khalid Waraich conveyed the advantages of investing in Pakistan and the five areas where enabling environment has been created for investments namely in food processing, textile, information technology, logistics, and automobiles. In the session on “Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Hamamatsu Mayor Yasutomo Suzuki discussed the 3 pillars of the Hamamatsu SDGs Future City Plan which are on sustainable forestry, interculturalism, and renewable energy. Hamamatsu was recognised by the Japanese government as SDGs Future City in 2018 and is one of the 6 cities in Asia that has completed Voluntary Local Review (VLR). Subang Jaya Mayor Noraini Roslan expressed the city’s vision to be a world class city through its 6 action plans: green action, safe city, smart city, well-being city, healthy city, and women friendly city. Tanjung Pinang Mayor Syahrul reported on the efforts of his city to achieve the SDGs in areas of poverty reduction, reduction of urban slum area, and improvement of clean water availability.

The summit concluded with the adoption of the Hamamatsu Declaration that committed local government leaders to actively involving stakeholders, synergising efforts to promote foreign ties, and localising the SDGs. Delegates participated in a study tour to explore Hamamatsu’s cultural and historical sightseeing spots. These included the Ryotanji Temple, Hana no Mai Sake Factory, and Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments.