Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addresses the opening of the 6th GEF Assembly (Photo: VNA)

Da Nang (VNA) – Vietnam is willing to accompany with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in boosting sustainable development for the current and future generations, said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The PM made the statement in his speech delivered at the opening session of the 6th GEF Assembly held in the central city of Da Nang on June 27.

The earth – the home of the mankind – is facing severe impacts from environmental degradation and pollution and climate change. If no overall solutions are given, countries, nations and people will have to suffer tremendous consequences, he said.

This big challenge is also a chance for the humankind to review development models and ways, thereby making a change in their mindset and behaviours for an everlasting natural environment, he stated.

The Government leader noted that the GEF has made important contributions to the settlement of challenges in environment and climate change in the world, especially in developing countries, including Vietnam.

During its development, Vietnam has countered many problems in environmental degradation and climate change, he said.

Despite many difficulties in resources, the Vietnamese Government has added environmental protection and climate change response into the country’s socio-economic development plans, while mobilising all resources and creativeness as well as efforts of the whole society for the work.

“Vietnam will not exchange environment for economic development which affects the sustainable development,” he said before about 1,500 delegates from 183 GEF countries, along with leaders of UN agencies, regional development banks, socio-economic organisations and businesses.

The country is focusing on implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2030) and its commitments at COP-21 on climate change.

At the G7 Outreach Summit in Canada earlier this month, the PM hailed the important role and effective cooperation of the GEF, while pledging to work with the GEF in implementing the regional project for a plastic waste-free ocean.

On the occasion, the PM thanked the GEF and its members and development partners, expressing his hope to continue receiving consultations, cooperation and assistance from the GEF.

He held that Vietnam is a favourable place for the GEF to launch its new projects in environmental protection, adding that Vietnam is ready to engage in global, inter-regional and inter-sectoral projects in order to learn experience in dealing with global environmental problems such as ocean plastic waste and preserving biodiversity.

PM Phuc raised a number of issues for discussion at the event, including the definition of major environmental challenges to the mankind, thus seeking prioritised policies for the comprehensive and effective settlement of these challenges.

The PM suggested that it is necessary to evaluate the efficiency of current supporting and coordinating mechanisms, so as to make breakthrough improvements, especially in mobilising and distributing resources to assist member countries, particularly those facing huge problems due to environmental degradation, pollution and climate change.

Participants should propose projects to cope with the root of environmental degradation, pollution and climate change as well as urgent matters related to ocean plastic waste.

The sixth Assembly of the GEF is one of the most important events in environment hosted by Vietnam in 2018.

Along with a plenary session, the event also includes a number of discussions on issues related to food, land use and restoration, sustainable cities, cooperation in implementing the 2030 agenda, plastic waste released to the ocean, and reform in green power.

Vietnam became a member of the GEF in 1994. The GEF was established on the eve of 1992 in Rio Earth Summit to help tackle the planet’s most pressing environmental problems.

So far, it has provided over 17.9 billion USD in grants and mobilised an additional 93.2 billion in co-financing for more than 4,500 projects in 170 countries.

Today, GEF is an international partnership of 183 countries, international institutions, civil society organisations and the private sector that addresses global environmental issues.-VNA