On March 15, 2023, the International Symposium "From Recovery to Growth: Learning from Hiroshima" - Dialogue between Hiroshima, Ukraine, Eastern Europe and Central Asia was held in Hiroshima, Japan, organized by the World Bank Development Training Center in Tokyo and the Hiroshima city administration.
The event is devoted to discussion of multiple crises such as natural disasters, climate change and the consequences of COVID-19, with which the cities around the world have to deal every day.
The main objective of the symposium is to share experiences and lessons learned from crisis management and recovery efforts, and to discuss steps to make cities more sustainable developed through climate smart investments in implementation of sustainable infrastructure.
Symposium participants included Mr. Jürgen Vogele - Vice President of the World Bank for Sustainable Development, Ms. Anna Yurchenko - Deputy Minister for European Integration, Mr. Kazumi Matsui - Mayor of Hiroshima, Mr. Kenichi Susume - Deputy Mayor of Hiroshima, Mr. Alexander Senkevich, Deputy Mayor of Hiroshima, Mr. Yurchenko - Deputy Mayor of Hiroshima. Mr. Alexander Senkevich - Mayor of Nikolayev, Mr. Azamat Mambetov - Deputy Minister of Emergencies of the Kyrgyz Republic, Ms. Nargiz Garazhayeva - Advisor to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mr. Sameh Nagib Wahba - Regional Director of the World Bank for Sustainable Development for the Europe and Central Asia Region, as well as Executive Director of the Community Development and Investment Agency of the Kyrgyz Republic M.D. Naspekov.
The symposium opened with opening remarks by the President of the World Bank Group, David Malpas, who welcomed the participants online and emphasized the importance of this forum, since the cities around the world provide almost 80% of the global economic activity and are in the front line at a critical time.
The screening of a documentary about the revival of Hiroshima following the atomic bombing in 1945 was symbolic. The participants of the symposium were shown historical moments when the most important step on the way of recovery and revival of the city was the declaration of Hiroshima as a "City of Peace" on August 6, 1949. At the same time, a special law on the construction of the city came into force, which provided not only for reconstruction, but also aimed to change the image of the city, to turn Hiroshima into a memorial city of peace, "symbolizing the sincere desire for a real and sustainable peace."
Then there were panel discussions, during which representatives of participating countries presented personal experience of overcoming the crisis in their regions - Japan, Ukraine, the Kyrgyz Republic, Azerbaijan, and others. The report on experience of Kyrgyz Republic in crisis management was presented by Deputy Minister of Emergencies Mambetov A.M. It should be noted that this part of the symposium was fruitful for participants since each of them could explain about their own measures of overcoming the crisis processes in details. This platform also became an opportunity for close experience sharing and discussion of lessons learned.
It is worth noting that the Executive Director of the Community Development and Investment Agency of the Kyrgyz Republic M.D. Naspekov also made a presentation at the symposium, where he explained about the progress in restoration of social facilities in Batken oblast, which were destroyed in September 2022 as a result of the armed conflict on the Kyrgyz-Tajik state border.
"In today's conditions, we see that the restoration of infrastructure in towns and villages must necessarily meet the minimum standards of wellbeing. In addition, it is extremely important that the organization of amenities should be optimal in the context of climate change, while buildings and structures shall meet all energy efficiency and seismic stability requirements," said M. Naspekov.
М. Naspekov added that in Kyrgyzstan there are separate technical assistance activities are conducted to improve regional and territorial sustainable development practices as well.
As a result of the symposium, representatives of the participating countries received a certain scope of knowledge and experience to ensure post-conflict recovery, poverty reduction, general prosperity and greater sustainability, which they will apply in managing crisis processes in their regions.