Heads of State, UN and Business Leaders to attend Sixth GEF Assembly

20 Jun 2018

Heads of State, UN and Business Leaders to attend Sixth GEF Assembly

Press Release
20 Jun 2018
Da Nang beach, Viet Nam


Heads of state, UN and Business Leaders to attend Sixth GEF Assembly

June 27-28, 2018 | Da Nang, Viet Nam


Heads of state and government, ministers, heads of UN agencies, top business people and academics, and NGO leaders, will meet in Da Nang, Viet Nam from June 27-28, for the Global Environment Facility's (GEF) Assembly.

The Assembly, one of the most significant global gatherings of the year on the environment, follows a record US$4.1 billion replenishment by governments of the GEF's trust fund, and is testament to its growing influence and effectiveness in bringing about sustainable development around the world, and safeguarding its global commons.

Naoko Ishii, the GEF's CEO and Chairperson, called the gathering "a unique opportunity to help make a safer, more secure and more liveable planet."  She added, "Business as usual will guarantee disaster; incremental change will not suffice. The only solution is transformational change.  We need to transform food, urban, and energy systems, and move to a circular economy. We need to act swiftly, and at scale – and that’s just what the GEF intends to do."

Viet Nam's Prime Minister, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who will deliver the Welcome Address at the Opening Ceremony on June 27, said that the Assembly, "is an occasion for nations as well as individuals to join hands and to act to realise our shared aspirations for a 'resilient, sustainable and life-affirming planet."

Hilda Heine, President of the Marshall Islands, and David A. Grainger, President of Guyana, will speak at plenary sessions as will Michelle Bachelet, former President of Chile and José Maria Figueres, former President of Costa Rica.   

They will  be joined by environment ministers from all around the world and leaders of UN Agencies and multilateral financial institutions including:

Suma Chakrabarti, President, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development; Takehiko Nakao, President, Asian Development Bank; Cristiana Paşca Palmer; Executive Secretary, Convention on Biological Diversity; Rolph Payet, Executive Secretary, Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions, Rossana Silva-Repetto, Executive Secretary, Minamata Convention on Mercury; Achim Steiner, Administrator, UN Development Programme; Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment; LI Yong, Director General, UNIDO; Peter Thomson, UN Special Envoy for the Ocean; and Howard Bamsey, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund.

Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever and Sunny Verghese, CEO of Olam International are among top business leaders attending. Scientists include Johan Rockström, Executive Director, Stockholm Resilience Centre; and NGO leaders include: Rosa Lemos de Sá, CEO, Funbio; Carter Roberts, President, WWF-US; Shenggen Fan, Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute; Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute; and Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40. 

Many of these speakers, and others, will be holding press briefings as well as Facebook Live interviews on the GEF Live digital media stage. Click HERE for a full list of speakers. 

Apart from the plenaries there will be roundtable discussions on: Food, Land Use and Restoration; Sustainable Cities; the Blue Economy; Partnerships for Implementing the 2030 Agenda; Science-based Targets for Earth; the Circular Economy; Marine Plastics; Sustainable Landscapes in the Amazon and Congo Basin; Preventing a Toxic Legacy - Transforming the Chemicals Industry; Wildlife; Gender and the Environment; Innovation in Clean Energy; Conservation Finance; and Sustainable Drylands. Click HERE for more information on the roundtables.

The Sixth GEF Assembly will take place at the Furama International Conference Center in Da Nang, Viet Nam.

Held every four years, the GEF Assembly brings together environment ministers and other senior officials from all its 183 member countries, along with heads of UN agencies, regional development backs, civil society organizations and business leaders to share ideas, solutions and action needed to protect the global environment.

All sessions are open to the media unless otherwise indicated.

For more information and updates visit http://assembly.thegef.org

The GEF Assembly will be preceded by the 54th GEF Council Meeting on June 24-26 and the 24th Least Developed Countries Fund/Special Climate Change Fund Council Meeting and a Civil Society Forum on June 26. There is an opportunity to visit GEF projects surrounding Da Nang on June 29.  The week will also feature numerous side events and exhibitions.

Media Registration

For information and instructions on how to register to attend the GEF Assembly, please visit:  https://assembly.thegef.org/assembly/media-registration.

Media Inquiries

For more information, including requests for interviews, please the contact the GEF:  

Or the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) of Viet Nam: 

  • Mr. Le Ngoc Tuan, Deputy Director General of the International Cooperation Department, MONRE, lntuan@monre.gov.vn 

Photo by Patrizia Cocca / GEF

Media Contacts

Mr. Robert Bisset
Head of Communications
+1 202 458 5191

Previous Assemblies