Speech by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the G7 Outreach Meeting

13:34 10/06/2018
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has proposed establishing an expanded cooperation forum between the Group of Seven (G7) and coastal nations in combating climate change and sea level rise, and protecting the marine ecology.

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada,

         Excellencies, Heads of State and Government

         Ladies and Gentlemen,    

         I would like to sincerely thank The Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for inviting Viet Nam to the expanded G7 meeting today. The theme Ocean set for this meeting is highly relevant. It is the habitat and development space of all coastal nations and the entire planet.

I wish to share the following views:

First, climate change and sea level rise poses a serious threat to mankind’s survival. Viet Nam has a long coastline and, according to the WB and OECD, is among the countries worst affected by climate change, sea level rise and extreme weather. Without effective responses, 20% of Ho Chi Minh City and 40% of the Mekong delta of Viet Nam will be submerged by the end of this century. This area is Viet Nam’s rice granary inhabited by tens of millions of people, and a food-exporting center that provides food security for many countries.

Viet Nam highly values the assistance for sustainable development of the Mekong River basin from G7 countries, including Japan, the United States and the Friends of the Lower Mekong (FLM). We look forward to the continued international support and cooperation for sustainable management and use of water resources and enhanced monitoring, climate change adaptation, as well as responding to the sea level rise and spreading saline intrusion in the Mekong basin.

Viet Nam is committed to joining the international community in early translating the Paris Agreement into reality.

I would like to propose that G7 countries consider establishing an Expanded Cooperation Forum of G7 and coastal countries on response to climate change, sea level rise and protection of maritime environment and ecology in order to promote cooperation, share experience, transfer technologies and muster resources. Viet Nam welcomes the G7’s topic on the gender equality to facilitate women’s access to resources and basic services in responding to climate change.

Second, 8 million tons of plastic waste are flushed into our oceans every year, imperiling the maritime ecosystem and the oceans’ health. Viet Nam welcomes Canada's initiative on preventing plastic litter on oceans, and stands ready to work with Canada and other partners in its implementation.  At the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly to be held in Viet Nam in late June 2018, we will put forward an initiative on developing a Regional Project for a Plastic – Free Ocean, which has been welcomed by the GEF.

At this forum, I would like to propose that the G7 work on establishing a Global Mechanism on Plastic Waste Reduction with joint actions from all relevant countries for an ever-blue oceans full of fish and shrimps and free from plastic, serving as valuable assets for future generations.

Viet Nam, on its part, has adopted a development strategy to vigorously promote maritime economy in parallel with protecting maritime environment and ecosystem. We do not sacrifice the environment for economic growth. We encourage clean energy, green growth and sustainable projects while combating strongly polluting waste for blue and healthy seas. 

Lastly, the preservation of blue oceans as the living habitat of mankind is only possible with peace, stability and cooperation prevailing at seas.

The East Sea in Southeast Asia provides the lifeline for 50% of the world shipping traffic. It must be the sea of peace and safety. Viet Nam welcomes the G7’s support for ASEAN's common position on the maintaining maritime safety, security and freedom of navigation and overflight, non-militarization and refraining from unilateral acts that would erode trust, dispute settlement via peaceful means on the basis of respecting international law, the 1982 UNCLOS and the diplomatic and legal processes, full and effective observance of the DOC and working towards an early substantive and effective COC.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to affirm that Viet Nam stands ready to advance cooperation in realizing the theme of the G7 Meeting today on effective response to climate change, sea level rise, development of clean, renewable energy, and protection of maritime environment and ecosystem. Our common goal is for a blue ocean, a green planet, peace, stability and common prosperity.

Thank you for your kind attention./.