Excellency Mr. Shingo Miyake, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan,
Distinguished panelists, speakers as well as distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen,
It is indeed my pleasure to join this side event on High level dialogue on plastic pollution – next steps to end plastic pollution. The topic of which is very timely and very important. I appreciate very much, the Government of Japan for this initiative in close collaboration with UNEP as well as ESCAP for organizing this event.
Plastic pollution is indeed one of the most pressing, most urgent development challenges especially in our region.
It is permeating our urban and marine environments, adversely and negatively impacting the health of our populations, ecosystem and therefore also threatening lives and ivelihoods.
Fortunately, member States at the Fifth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5) adopted a resolution to work towards an international, legally binding agreement on plastic pollution, demonstrating the political commitment to meet this global challenge.
Therefore, this side event aims to share ideas on what priorities the agreement could cover that are important from the Asian and Pacific perspectives.
The contributions and solutions generated in our region are critical to the future success of any agreement. It will feed into the topic areas can be covered in that agreement.
Today’s event builds the momentum for the future negotiation on plastic pollution and will explore steps to reduce additional pollution by marine plastic litter to zero by 2050.
This is in line with the Osaka Blue Ocean vision developed under the leadership of the Government of Japan.
Reducing plastic pollution also contributes to the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals.
The resolution adopted by UNEA puts in motion the process to develop the specific content of a new plastic pollution treaty with the aim of completing its work by the end of 2024. The resolution emphasizes that the problem should be solved through measures along the entire life cycle of plastics.
Therefore, efforts from this region are helping to develop such measures.
For example, ESCAP’s work on Closing the Loop project, financed by the Government of Japan, made substantial progress in providing target cities and key stakeholders in several cities, especially in Southeast Asia; Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Viet Nam with data, knowledge and skills to monitor and manage plastic waste using innovative technologies and to better understand policy interventions that can reduce plastic waste.
Therefore, all these initiatives, best practice can feed into the suggestions to be accommodated in the upcoming treaty discussion.
I am very much looking forward to further deliberation in this very important event.
Thank you very much for your participation and contribution.