Future international leaders discuss sustainability in Yokohama

YOKOHAMA — About 50 university students from 13 countries gathered in Yokohama to discuss how to build a sustainable society at an international conference held by Global Next Leaders Forum, an organization of university students who wish to be leaders of future generations.

Participants shared their countries’ problems regarding sustainability on Tuesday, the opening day of the conference that runs through Feb. 14, ranging from waste disposal problems to structural political problems. Yomiuri Shimbun Senior Writer Hiroko Kono gave a lecture titled “The World at a Crossroads,” discussing issues to overcome for a sustainable society, such as climate change, terrorism and political changes in Europe and the United States.

 “I hope I can find some solutions that can be implemented in Tunisia,” said Wijden Dahmen, a sophomore at Tunisia’s Higher Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology.Dahmen, who gave a lecture titled “Economic Crisis After Revolution,” added that she was also motivated to change the negative image of her country, saying that Tunisia is “a cool country open to other cultures.”

This year’s conference marks the sixth time the event has been held since it was inaugurated in 2011. Students from China, Hungary, Pakistan and Singapore participated for the first time this year. Other countries were Australia, Bulgaria, Brazil, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia and Japan.

Takumi Suda, a sophomore at Juntendo University, said he joined the event as the theme of sustainability is related to his major interest, global health policy. “I’m looking forward to building friendships with people from countries I never encountered before, and learning their mind-set, culture and social problems,” he said.

The Japan News

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