Inaugural Speech delivered by H.E. U Myint Swe, Vice President of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar
at the Inception and Implementation Meeting on ASEAN Institute for Green Economy (AIGE)
Executive Director of United Nations Environment,Mr. Erik Solheim
Ambassadors of ASEAN Member States,
Ambassadors of Development Partners Countries
Representatives from the Committee of Natural Resources and
Environment of Pyi Thu Hluttaw and Amyotha Hluttaw
Representatives from UN Agencies Delegates from ASEAN Member States Representatives from Green Economy Green Growth (GEGG)
Association Myanmar Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. At the very outset, it is my great pleasure and honor to deliver an opening speech at this inception and implementation on meeting on ASEAN Institute of Green Economy. Taking this privilege, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and on my own behalf, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you and my gratitude for your significant presence here which reflects your deep appreciation on our regional cooperation and pride to host this significant event.
2. ASEAN with a population of over 630 millions is one of the world’s largest economies and of the most dynamic and fastest growing region. Interregional trade is expected to increase significantly and ASEAN is well situated and poised to be a major hub for global trade. Consequently, demand for natural resources will increase in tandem.
3. The majority of ASEAN population still depends on the natural resources for their livelihood. It is, therefore, vitally important that these resources are managed and used in a sustainable manner. However, the region has experienced severe environmental challenges including droughts, natural disasters, loss of biodiversity and depletion of natural resources and climate change as well as the devastation of historical and cultural resources due to increase of population, poverty and climate change impacts among our ASEAN countries.
4. Realizing that economic development cannot be sustained without protecting the environment, ASEAN countries have committed themselves to protect and promote the environment. With this concept in mind, “A clean and green ASEAN with fully established mechanism for sustainable development by 2020” is set as our common goal.
5. With inspired spirit to overcome regional and global environmental problems, collaborative efforts are also crucial at the regional and national level in order to realize the goal of achieving green and clean environment in the entire region. It is our conviction that environmental issues are best tackled collectively, in cooperation with our AMS countries and international organizations.
6. In this regards, AIGE is an innovative foundation to share information and experiences, ways and means and promote dialogue among member countries and Development Partners towards the vision of clean and green environment of our ASEAN region. Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
7. It is my honor to be here today to see the launching of this event at such an important time of Myanmar’s development as well as our entire ASEAN community. More than ever do we need research, knowledge sharing and collaboration to support new policy solutions and ideas that can drive a green economy in ASEAN countries.
8. As of the Terms of Reference of the AIGE which was approved in September 2017, I do believe that the institute will work to “enhance awareness of programs on green technologies and management practices and assist ASEAN Member States through joint research, education and training.”
9. While ASEAN continues to promote the sustainable economic growth agenda, I believe AIGE can support ASEAN countries in identifying opportunities and solutions that can help us address environmental, climate and economic issues to ensure that our natural wealth is protected and that current as well as future generations can continue to enjoy the many opportunities that ASEAN countries provide.
10. Myanmar’s people and economy depend on healthy and functioning ecosystems to provide enough food, clean water, protection against natural disasters, and energy – essential for the survival, wellbeing and socio-economic development of our societies. Therefore, it is critical that we all properly value nature and the essential benefits it provides.
11. We are building an economy that creates jobs, improves human wellbeing and conserves Myanmar’s natural wealth. While our country has suffered from the impact of climate change and environmental degradation, we are laying down new policies and strategies that will change our pathway towards a more sustainable future.
12. In this regard, the development of National Environmental Policy, Strategy and Master Plan, National Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Action Plan, National Waste Management Strategy and Green Economy Policy Framework have been completed in Myanmar. The Green Economy Policy Framework identifies and implements priority areas to be promoted for sustainable and green investments. We need investments that can support our economic development, while improving the wellbeing of our people and protecting our natural wealth.
13. With the aim of environmental mainstreaming in Myanmar, we are incorporating green development and climate change considerations into national, sectoral and local development plans. Moreover, Myanmar is committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Paris Agreement.
14. I do believe that this three-day Meeting will be a platform and great opportunity to discuss among experts and delegates for building an economy by investments that are low-carbon and based on green technologies in our ASEAN region.
15. In conclusion, I would like to urge all of the participants here today to contribute and collaborate for the establishment of a strong, innovative and forward-thinking AIGE. In doing so, I do expect that AIGE can become the center for shaping a green and sustainable ASEAN community.
16. Thank you for your participation and contribution. I wish this important event great success!