Ministerial Conference on Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution from 01/09/2021 until 02/09/2021 in Geneva

In response to the invitation to attend the Conference from the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment identified this as an opportunity to promote further positivity and seek stronger solutions on the issue of ocean plastic waste from 126 countries that have joined and approved the United Nations Environment Council Resolution on ocean plastic and microplastic waste in 2017; towards the 5th session of the United Nations Environment Council (UNEA 5.2) to be held in February 2022.

Speaking at the conference, Deputy Director General of VASI Nguyen Que Lam said: Plastic pollution and ocean waste are becoming an urgent global problem, threatening ecosystems, the quality of the environment and the living environment of people and species in the world. Every year, nearly 12 million tons of plastic waste is dumped into the ocean.

That fact, requires the world to join hands urgently to act to solve this serious challenge before it is too late.

Recognizing the importance of solving the problem of ocean plastic pollution, the Government of Vietnam pays special attention and tries to solve it through fundamental innovation in policies and laws on environmental protection and by practical actions, such as:

Passing the Law on Environmental Protection 2020, which legalizes contents related to plastic waste such as management, reuse, recycling, treatment and development of circular economy; Promulgating the National Action Plan on ocean plastic waste management to 2030.

In addition to policy reforms, Vietnam also strengthens communication activities to raise people’s awareness about the consumption and disposal of plastic products; strengthen scientific research, innovation and technology transfer. Vietnam has established a partnership mechanism that allows manufacturers and government agencies to cooperate in solving the problem of plastic waste pollution.

With the spirit of “Vietnam – a responsible member of the United Nations” and continuing to affirm its political commitments to the international community in tackling plastic pollution, Vietnam has actively participated and has made initial contributions to the formation of a Global Agreement on Ocean Plastic Pollution. Vietnam always supports and is willing to participate in discussions to jointly develop an Agreement on ocean plastic pollution on the basis of respecting international law, within the framework of the United Nations, for a blue ocean, green planet, peace, stability and prosperity.

Last June, Vietnam also joined with 77 Member States of the United Nations and the European Union to support the Ocean Day Declaration on Plastic Pollution, thereby calling for the establishment of an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee at UNEA 5.2 to expedite the negotiation process for a legally binding global agreement on plastic pollution.

On this occasion, Deputy Director General Nguyen Que Lam also called and suggested that the delegates attending the Conference focus on discussing solutions to mobilize the participation of countries in solving the problem of plastic pollution and ocean waste, proposing models of sustainable production and consumption of plastic products; Decisive next steps, including support for UNEA Draft Resolution 5.2 on the establishment of a Negotiating Committee, co-written by a number of pioneering countries, to expedite negotiations on a legal framework global plastic pollution.

It is hoped that the Conference will achieve practical results, contributing to building momentum and political will to promote a coherent global strategy to end plastic pollution and marine litter, ensuring a clean ocean future.

The conference is organized in the form of a combination of online and face-to-face for two days (September 1 and 2, 2021) at two bridge points: World Trade Organization (WTO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and at VASI.

Source: Natural Resources and Environment Newspaper.