Speech at the Fourth Regional 3R Forum in Asia- 3Rs in the Context of Rio+20 Outcomes

18 Mar 2013

Speaker: UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Pratibha Mehta
Date:      18 March 2013, 09:00 – 17:30
Event:     Fourth Regional 3R Forum in Asia- 3Rs in the Context of Rio+20 Outcomes – The Future We Want
Venue:    Calidas Landmark 72 Royal Residence Hanoi Hotel

His Excellency Nguyen Thien Nhan, Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam
His Excellency Nguyen Minh Quang, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Viet Nam
Mr. Shinji Inoue, Senior Vice Minister of Environment of Japan
Ms. Chikako Takase, Director of the United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD)
Distinguished delegates and development partners
Ladies and gentlemen;

It is a great pleasure and honour to welcome you to this important Forum on 3Rs in Asia. “Reduce, reuse, recycle” are fundamental for a resource efficient society. This is a fantastic opportunity for delegates from the region to come together to address how 3Rs could contribute to the implementation of “The Future We Want”, which is the outcome of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, or Rio+20 in 2012.

Rio+20 highlights the importance of promotion of environmentally sound waste management. It calls for adopting a life cycle approach and of further development and implementation of policies including 3Rs on a global scale.

The 3Rs life cycle approach requires efficient use of resources from the point of extraction up to their final disposal, and avoid the production of waste through resource-efficient design and production. This brings environmental, social and economic benefits, including a reduction of health risks, cleaner production and increased energy efficiency, a reduction of green house gas emissions, business opportunities for recycled products, and creation of green jobs.

Viet Nam has already achieved much to be proud of in this area. The Viet Nam Green Growth Strategy emphasises the need for low-carbon development, green production, restoring of natural assets and green lifestyles.

The Green Growth Strategy will help create opportunities for the development of markets for recycled products and employment opportunities. In Viet Nam, substantial amounts of urban domestic waste is being recycled but it is almost entirely informal and characterised by limited investment. The National Strategy of Integrated Solid Waste Management was adopted in 2009, but implementation of 3R activities is still fragmented. There is, for example, a need for additional regulations on  handling and management of hazardous waste and other categories of waste.

Sustainable and resource efficient production also needs to be further promoted to increase business competitiveness in a world with rising costs of raw materials and energy. Innovative policy, technology transfer and market mechanisms to promote sustainable industrial production need to be identified, developed and implemented.

Sustainable consumption and equally important is consumer behaviour changes. The Asia-Pacific countries including Viet Nam need for example public awareness campaigns, to encourage households to reduce and avoid waste.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This Forum is an excellent opportunity for exchanging experiences and best practices of 3R policy development and implementation. The United Nations has been privileged to work in Viet Nam and other countries of the region towards sustainable development and green growth. We will continue to share international experiences, build capacities, and support coordination for the advancement of 3Rs at national, regional and international levels.

I would like to conclude with the hope that a common framework on Sustainable 3R Goals will be adopted at this Forum. This will provide an important basis for Asia-Pacific countries to develop and implement 3R policies and programmes, and move towards a green economy and society. I wish you all a fruitful Forum, good health, happiness and enjoyable time in Hanoi!

Thank you very much!