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Global sustainability and the role of universities

President Shirai attends the G8 University Summit

A scene from the summit.

The G8 University Summit was held in the city of Sapporo from June 29th to July 1st. The period of the G8 University Summit was during Sustainability Week 2008, which coincided with the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit. The G8 University Summit was attended by 14 Japanese universities (including Waseda University) and the Presidents (and representatives) of 27 universities from G8 countries, as well as United Nations Universities and Presidents (and representatives) from 7 universities from non-G8 countries.

Contribution from academic fields is essential when examining global environmental issues on an international level. Leading research-based universities must play an extremely important role in this process. The G8 University Summit seeks to realize international contributions from the academic world through a partnership between universities, particularly universities of leading developed countries. These contributions are intended to realize global, social, and human systems, as well as a reciprocal relationship of sustainability(*) for those systems.

President Shirai gives a presentation at a subcommittee.

The issues of the summit were summarized in the Sapporo Sustainability Declaration.

(*) Sustainability: A way of thinking which focuses on whether the activities of mankind can be continued into the future.