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Senior ASEAN officials meet to discuss environmental issues

The 31st Meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN 31) and related meetings have begun via videoconference to discuss environmental sustainability.

Young people in southern Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu draw paintings as part of a campaign held last weekto prevent marine plastic waste. 


The four-day ASOEN 31, which runs until Friday, is an occasion for ASEAN member countries to review ASOEN activities and issue recommendations to improve their effectiveness, contributing to the realisation of targets in the draft ASEAN strategic plan on the environment as well as environmental sustainability within the framework of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

Apart from officials of member states, it is also being attended by representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, the EU Delegation to Việt Nam, and the German agency for development cooperation (GIZ).

Opening ASOEN 31, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Võ Tuấn Nhân said the Government always attaches importance to environmental protection.

He noted that Việt Nam strongly supports the building of an ASEAN plan of action on marine waste and the bloc’s joint declaration at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

By making and implementing a regional action plan and issuing joint declarations, member countries reflect their cohesion in working with the international community to deal with global environmental problems, Nhân said.

To achieve environmental sustainability, he called upon all parties to exert stronger efforts to resolve pressing issues like trans-boundary water and air pollution, marine plastic waste, and climate change, to ensure better social welfare and a safer living environment while conserving and managing biodiversity.

As countries in the region and the world continue to deal with COVID-19, closer co-operation is needed to defeat the pandemic, Nhân said, adding that it is also necessary for countries to continue standing side-by-side to handle regional environmental issues on the basis of co-operation and mutual trust.

Events on the sidelines of ASOEN 31 include the 14th ASEAN-Japan Dialogue on Environmental Cooperation, the 17th ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Environment, and the second ASEAN-EU high-level dialogue on the environment and climate change.

The ASOEN chairmanship will be handed over from Malaysia to Myanmar at the closing session of ASOEN 31. — VNS


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