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Viet Nam & UN
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Bui The Giang Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam at the General Assembly Plenary Meeting
06-16-2009, 01:05 am


by H.E. Ambassador Bui The Giang

Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam

at the General Assembly Plenary Meeting


Mr. President,

At the outset, I wish to reconfirm the Vietnamese Government’s commitment to and determination in implementing the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS. I thank you for convening this important Meeting. I also thank the Secretary-General and the Joint Inspection Unit for their updated reports on progress and challenges in the implementation of the Declaration of Commitment and Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS.

Mr. President,

My Delegation is encouraged that more infected people have gained better access to anti-retroviral therapy (ART) as well as other kinds of support and care, as compared to three years ago when the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS was adopted. The stronger determination and more positive political environment in the battle against HIV/AIDS at global, regional, national and local levels over the last few years have been reinforced by concrete actions and significant increases of resources for HIV programs in low- and middle-income countries, leading to the first decline in years in the number of AIDS deaths, the higher percentage of HIV-infected pregnant women receiving services, and especially the decline in HIV prevalence among young pregnant women in several African countries. Equally important, new sources of technical support delivery coordination have been developed, while country-level monitoring and evaluation systems have improved. All this could only be possible thanks to the all-out efforts of the entire United Nations system, in cooperation with Member States, international organizations and civil society entities.

My Delegation is, however, deeply concerned about the fact that the number of people living with HIV continues to go up, with more than 7,000 people on average become infected every day, and AIDS is taking over 5,000 lives per day, mostly due to a lack of HIV prevention services and ART. We are alarmed that a huge number of children have lost one or both parents to AIDS, and that the need for treatment still far outpaces the availability of ART, particularly in developing countries. We are preoccupied by the inaccurate and lop-sided awareness and knowledge among the population, particularly among young people and vulnerable groups, about HIV/AIDS. We are also irritated by the pervasive HIV-based stigma and discrimination, and criminalization of HIV transmission in many parts of the world. In this connection, we support specifically the Secretary-General’s recommendations to revise policies and programmatic responses to HIV/AIDS in changing situations, ensure provision of services to those who are most at risk, women and children in the first place, and sustain long-term response to HIV, through building durable capacity, achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, and mobilizing sustainable financing for HIV, among others.

Mr. President,

It is along this line that Viet Nam has done its utmost to take care of almost 170,000 Vietnamese living with HIV/AIDS while trying to reverse the spread of the epidemic which has, up to now, taken lives of over 41,000 of our compatriots. To this end, we have continuously improved our HIV/AIDS control legal and executive systems, including inter alia the enactment of the Law on HIV/AIDS Control, the National HIV/AIDS Control Strategy, and 9 Programs of Action, and the establishment of HIV/AIDS Control Centers in 61 out of total 63 provinces of the country. Many initiatives have been put in place, including the setting up of Mutual Help Groups, Compassion Clubs, and Shared Sympathy Clubs. Information, education and communication (IEC) have been promoted, culminating in the broadest ever participation last year of the population in public activities, most notably the launch of the National Month of Action Against HIV/AIDS. All stakeholders – Government agencies, NGOs, community groups, religious organizations, businesses, and foreigners being in Viet Nam – have involved. Increasing Government funds have been mobilized. International cooperation has been intensified.

Despite these endeavors, there remain many challenges ahead of us. HIV has not been fundamentally controlled and therefore still poses the risk of spreading. Most HIV/AIDS Control Centers are weak in terms of personnel and equipment. Finances remain limited, resulting in insuficient supply of ARV and inadequate treatment of patients, let alone difficulties in implementation of programs on HIV research, monitoring, prevention and intervention, to name a few. In order for these challenges to be dealt with effectively, apart from our own efforts, international cooperation and assistance are much needed. Aware of the global nature of HIV/AIDS and of the commonality of the challenges we are facing in our country, we call for continued cooperation and assistance from the United Nations system, its member States, and international and non-governmental organizations, while staying ready to share our modest practical experiences in this field.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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