A meeting of the Vietnam National Assembly (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Representatives from parliaments of 20 International Parliamentary Union (IPU) member nations and international organisations will gather at a conference themed “Climate change and actions of legislators” slated for May 11-13 in Ho Chi Minh City.

The event, organised by the IPU and the Vietnam National Assembly, is a step towards concretising agreements reached at the 132nd Assembly of the IPU held in Hanoi in March 2015 and turning commitments made by legislators into actions, contributing to realising sustainable development goals (SDGs).

It will serve as a forum for parliamentarians in Asia-Pacific, donors and international organisations to share experience and promote cooperation in implementing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Topics to be raised on the agenda include SDGs and parliaments’ role; gender equality promotion and health improvement in the context of climate change; and actions taken by regional countries against climate change.

The participants will also discuss international commitments and requirements for legislators as well as the mobilisation of resources to achieve SDGs.

The conference demonstrates Vietnam’s commitment to the IPU, especially with the Vietnamese NA having been elected as a member of the IPU Executive Committee for the 2016-2019 term.

It is expected to help raise the position played of the Vietnamese parliament in the region and the world while improving awareness of agencies, localities and public about climate change and its impacts.

The event also aims to call for efforts to cope with climate change in Asia-Pacific and the world.

Vietnam is one of the countries most at risk by climate change, with the Mekong Delta one of three deltas worldwide vulnerable to sea-level rise.

According to climate change scenarios, by the end of the 21st century, about 40 percent of the Mekong Delta, 11 percent of the Red River Delta and 3 percent of other coastal provinces will be submerged by sea water.

Ho Chi Minh City, the southern economic hub, is forecast to lose more than 20 percent of its area to the sea.

About 10-12 percent of the country’s population will suffer direct impacts from climate change and about 10 percent of national GDP will be lost.

Climate change has already impacted Vietnam as it hinders the country’s efforts to reduce poverty and obtain millennium development goals as well as sustainable development.

Against this backdrop, Vietnamese agencies and localities have taken the initiative to tackle climate change.

The country joined the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. Also, Vietnam, together with 175 countries worldwide, inked the Paris Agreement in New York on April 22, 2016 and approved the document at the end of October the same year.

Additionally, Vietnam has carried out various activities, including an action plan to realise the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.-VNA