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Climate Action: Women hold the key

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mary robinsonUN Women Viet Nam/Pham Xuan Binh. Ha Noi, 05 September  2016 - Today, at a roundtable at the Green One UN House in Hanoi, Mary Robinson, UN Special Envoy on El Niño and Climate, heard strong grassroots voices calling for more women to be engaged in climate change and disaster risk management action.

With the theme of 'Climate Action: Women hold the key", the roundtable brought together local women, policy makers and development partners to hear how women's participation can make a meaningful difference to the climate change and disaster management work, particularly in the current emergency response to drought and saltwater intrusion in Viet Nam.

The roundtable showcased presentations from four women who have played active roles in climate change responses and disaster management in Ben Tre, Bac Kan, Dong Thap and Thua Thien - Hue. These provinces are among those most at risk from climate change and disasters in Viet Nam. The women shared their experiences of how climate change has impacted on their lives, the challenges they face and what solutions they have developed.

"Women are playing an important role in dealing with climate change and disasters. They are the first ones to take care of family members when the disasters strike. Disaster risk reduction planning and adaptation to climate change will not be successful without including the perspectives of women. Community resilience to disasters cannot be achieved without increasing the resilience of women. We need to capitalize on women's resourcefulness as we tackle the challenges of climate change," said Ms. Shoko Ishikawa, UN Women Country Representative in Viet Nam.

In the second part of the event, participants proposed solutions to increase women's participation in design and implementation of gender responsive climate policies. Participants also discussed how to translate grassroots experiences into policy and what to do to support and promote women's capacity and knowledge. This will enable them to become catalysts of sustainable practices in their communities.

"I really very much appreciate this strong gender dimension which came through from every participant today. This is encouraging for Viet Nam. Clearly you all understand the value of ensuring the full and meaningful participation of women in climate change and risk management that is, I believe, going to be vital to make communities more resilient and to ensure that we harness all the potential," said Ms. Mary Robinson in her concluding remark at the event.

Viet Nam is one of the countries most vulnerable to, and most affected by climate change and disasters. The Global Climate Risk Index 2015 for 1994-2013 ranked Viet Nam in seventh place. With the majority of the population living in low-lying river basins and coastal areas, it is estimated that more than 70% of the population at risk of multiple hazards. Extreme disasters in the form of flood and storms are more frequent in recent years, causing more damage to people and impacting significantly on the economy.

With the impacts of climate change already being felt, the UN belives it is now more important than ever to mobilize resources from all stakeholders in order to manage natural disasters more effectively. Women's capacities, skills and knowledge are valuable resources that are not yet fully being harnessed. Putting women at the heart of climate change action will unlease their collective power, and empower them to play a key role in the national efforts to adress disaster and climate change.




1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


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As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

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Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.

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