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Information Note

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1st Ozone Day Celebration in Southeast Asia

Siem Reap, 29 July 2012 – The first national celebration of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in Southeast Asia, was held at the historical World Heritage Site Angkor Wat – a brilliantly built structure that overcame the technical difficulties of the 12th Century – which may also symbolize the obstacles and achievements the world has gone through since the Montreal Protocol was signed 25 years ago.

The event was opened by H.E. Yim Chhay Ly, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for the Agriculture and Rural Development, Cambodia. Senior officials and officers from international agencies involved in the Montreal Protocol also attended the celebration, including Marco Gonzalez, Executive Secretary of Ozone Secretariat, Maria Nolan, Chief Officer, Multilateral Fund Secretariat, and Young-woo Park, Regional Director and Representative of UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.

“The Royal Government of Cambodia under the wise leadership of Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, has strong commitment to integrate into the global community to solve the environmental issues on our earth,” said H.E. Yim Chhay Ly.  “The Royal Government of Cambodia is strongly determined to participate with all the Montreal Protocol Parties around the world, in order to protect the ozone layer, our planet and achieve sustainable development,” he added.

September 16, 2012 is the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) with 197 member-states that have committed to gradually reduce and eventually phase-out production and consumption of ozone-depleting chemicals such as CFCs and HCFCs widely used in the air-conditioning and refrigeration and in the foam sector. The Montreal Protocol is widely recognized as one of the most successful MEAs in history having achieved universal ratification and phasing out 98% of historical production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in terms of ozone depleting potential by 2010.

Cambodia was not among the earliest to ratify the Montreal Protocol.  However, Cambodia caught up very quickly after it ratified the MEA in 2001, with its strong political commitment and capable implementation management system.

Cambodia has established a good institutional framework for the coordination and implementation of the Montreal Protocol. The Ministry of Environment has been taking leadership with strong commitment in implementing this multilateral environmental agreement. The country has also established its ODS control policy/regulation, especially the ODS import/export licensing/quota system and has been enforced successfully and efficiently.

“UNEP is proud of being a part of this process. We are working as the implementing agency for various activities, namely institutional strengthening, policy development and enforcement capacity building, technicians training on good practices, and monitoring of the implementation of all national phase-out programmes. During this process, UNEP has continually received close cooperation and support from the Ministry of Environment,” stated Young-woo Park.

In the last decade, Cambodia developed and successfully implemented its Country Programme and Refrigerant Management Plan, and Terminal Phase-out Management Plan, phasing out CFCs and most ODS by 1 January 2010. Cambodia was also one of the first countries in the world to develop and get approval for its HCFC Phase-out Management Plan (HPMP) in 2010.

The event was also participated by top officials from the government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, namely H.E. Mok Mareth, Senior Minister for Environment, Cambodia, H.E. Sieng Nam, Member of National Assembly, Cambodia, H.E. Sou Phyrin, Governor of the Siem Reap Province, H.E. Khieu Muth, Secretary of State for Environment, and H.E. Poutry, Secretary of State for Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery. Students and other key stakeholders in Cambodia were also present to commemorate the International Ozone Day.

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Anne Fenner, Information Manager, UNEP OzonAction Programme, Tel: +33 1 4437 1454; Email: anne.fenner@unep.org.

Mr. Shaofeng Hu, Regional Network Coordinator, Compliance Assistance Programme (CAP), OzonAction Programme, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Tel No: +66 2 288 1126, Email: shaofeng.hu@unep.org.

Notes to Editors

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action.

Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion. The treaty was opened for signature on September 16, 1987 and entered into force on January 1, 1989. Since then, it has undergone five revisions, in 1990 (London), 1992 (Copenhagen), 1995 (Vienna), 1997 (Montreal), and 1999 (Beijing). Due to its widespread adoption and implementation it has been hailed as an example of exceptional international cooperation "Perhaps the single most successful international agreement to date...”

The Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol is managed by an Executive Committee which is responsible for overseeing the operation of the Fund. The Committee comprises seven members from developed and seven members from developing countries. The 2012 Committee membership includes Belgium, Canada, Finland, Japan, Romania, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America (developed countries) and Argentina, China, Cuba, India, Kenya, Jordan and Mali (developing country members) and is chaired by Mr. Xiao Xuezhi (China). The Committee is assisted by the Fund Secretariat which is based in Montreal, Canada.