The event will be jointly held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Can Tho People’s Committee, said MoFA Spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang at the ministry’s regular press conference in Hanoi on June 14.
According to Hang, the conference is an initiative of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh which was approved at the 13th ASEM Ministerial Meeting last November and won support and sponsorship from many countries, including Australia, Denmark, Myanmar, Finland, the Netherlands and Italy.
As the first ASEM initiative in its third decade related to climate change response toward sustainability, the event will propose an ASEM vision in the new decade on response to global challenges, especially climate change and sustainable development, contributing to implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, she said.
The conference is one of the most important inter-regional events on climate change and the only one of ASEM 2018 hosted by Vietnam. It will not only show Vietnam’s contributions to ASEM and global efforts but also create conditions for its Mekong Delta region to take the advantage of support, assistance and cooperation of Asia-Europe partners in climate change adaptation and sustainable development.
Vietnam is assessed as one of the countries hardest hit by climate change. Especially, the Mekong Delta region is one of the three deltas in the world most vulnerable to sea level rise, together with the Nile River Delta in Egypt and the Ganges River Delta in Bangladesh.
Vietnam joined the forum in 1996. The country organised the 5th ASEM Summit in 2004, and economic ministers’ meeting (2001), information-technology ministers’ meeting (2006), foreign and education ministers’ meetings (2009) and labour ministers’ meeting (2012).
In 2017, Vietnam carried out the Prime Minister’s initiative at the 11th ASEM Summit in Mongolia in July 2016 by hosting the ASEM conference on innovative education and human resources building for sustainable development in Hue city on March. The country chaired the 37th meeting of the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) Board of Governors.