Speech at UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme Signing Ceremony

29 Jul 2013

Speaker: Ms. Pratibha Mehta, United Nations Resident Coordinator
Date:       Monday, 29 July, 2013
Event:     UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme Signing Ceremony
Venue:    Meeting room 2-A2, MARD, No. 2 Ngoc Ha street, Ha Noi

Dr Cao Duc Phat, Minister of MARD,
Deputy Ambassador Ragnhild Dybdahl, the Norwegian Embassy in Viet Nam;
Representatives from MARD, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other distinguished participants from the Government,
Colleagues from the UN;

It is a great pleasure to be here with you today to sign the commencement of this long-awaited UN-REDD Phase II Programme which will make Viet Nam the first of 47 UN-REDD partner countries to start a Phase II Programme, a landmark event for Viet Nam as well as for UN-REDD.

As we embark on a new phase of the Programme, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect back on a few things that I believe will be useful to keep in mind as we prepare to roll out the implementation.

The First Phase evaluation, which was presented in Indonesia about a month ago, provided an opportunity to reflect on the lessons of the Phase I and apply them in the design and implementation of the Phase II. The UN is fully committed to improving our own efforts in every way necessary, not least in improving our internal coordination and amongst our respective UN Agencies.

The second reflection I would like to make is on the Joint Declaration signed between the governments of Viet Nam and Norway in December 2012. This positions the Phase II Programme within the broader agenda of climate change mitigation, and includes a very clear and targeted roadmap for Viet Nam to benefit in multiple ways beyond this $30 million Programme that we are signing today. However, if Viet Nam is to take full advantage of all the opportunities, Phase II must fully deliver on its objectives and in timely and effective manner.

The participation of the three UN Agency Representatives here today demonstrates that we fully intend to harness the complimentary global expertise of FAO, UNDP and UNEP in ways that more than triple the advantages for Viet Nam.  For example, FAO will support national forest resource monitoring and assessment; UNDP will promote democratic governance and stakeholder engagement; and UNEP will help strengthen ecosystem multiple benefits. UN-REDD is a key UN joint programme and by “Delivering as One” the three agencies will help maximize the impact of Vietnam’s goals in climate change mitigation.

Once the project document is signed and we leave this room, the “clock to deliver would start to tick” so we have no time to lose in getting the programme up and running. Most urgently we need to establish the governing mechanisms of the Programme Executive Board and the Executive Group, as well as start preparing for the inception workshops in Hanoi and in the pilot provinces. We would also need to find the most effective ways for inter-sectoral and inter-ministerial coordination, which would be an extremely important factor for the success of the phase 2 programme as well as a robust communication strategy to inform other UN-REDD partner countries and other global stakeholders of the progress.

Let me end by congratulating and thanking all involved in making the signing of the UN-REDD phase 2 programme today and we look forward to a highly impactful implementation.

I wish all of you good health, happiness and success.

Xin Cam On.