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Viet Nam & UN
Statement by HE Ambassador Bui The Giang, Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam, at the UNICEF Executive Board’s Review of Country Programs
09-15-2009, 04:58 pm


by HE Ambassador Bui The Giang,

Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam,

at the UNICEF Executive Board’s Review of Country Programs

New York, 15 September 2009


Mr. President,

I am grateful to you, the Executive Director and the Regional Director for Asia-Pacific for the regional review reports, particularly the one on Viet Nam country program. I am also appreciative of UNICEF’s objective evaluation of Viet Nam’s implementation of its country program.

Mr. President,

          As the Viet Nam-UNICEF Cooperation Program for 2006-2010 almost totally coincides with Viet Nam’s 5-year socio-economic development plan for 2005-2010, the review of the implementation of the two exercises has provided us with a chance to see what has been successful, what remains challenging and what needs to be done on the way forward. In this connection, I highly value UNICEF for its switch of focus to assisting Viet Nam in strategic policy planning, which will be helpful for the formation of a legal framework and system in support of child rights implementation in general.

Mr. President,

Recalling the overall objective of the Viet Nam-UNICEF cooperation program for 2006-2010 which is to enhance the protection of the rights of children and women in Viet Nam’s national renewal and international integration process, we believe this objective will continue to effectively serve the current rapid transition in Viet Nam. Guided by such an objective and when well coordinated, joint programs and projects will enable UN agencies to make full use of their comparative advantages to produce desired results. Here, “Delivering As One” represents an effective tool to pool together the increasingly scarce resources to promote child rights in the country. At the same time, given the fact that the rights-based approach was already proclaimed as an overarching principle in the designing of all programs and projects under the National Cooperation Program, we wish to see this approach more dynamically concretized in the implementation of specific programs and projects.

Regarding young people being the key target group of UNICEF-related programs and projects, it is encouraging that progress has been registered in inter-agency activities to respond to emergency situations and to combat HIV/AIDS, particularly among children. The Provincial Child Friendship Program has also been successful in facilitating broader participation in the decentralization process. Of course, the success would have been greater if more consistent support had been given from the central level to the local level and if more attention had been paid to expertise build-up and planning.

Mr. President,

          After some 20 years enjoying political stability and a high economic growth rate of 6-8% annually, Viet Nam is now setting for itself the target of becoming a middle income country by 2012. For this to be materialized, apart from our own all-out efforts, we will need the continued support, assistance and cooperation from the international community, of whom UNICEF is a major player. To ensure higher efficiency and effectiveness of the Viet Nam-UNICEF cooperation, allow me to suggest the following points.

          First, we’d like to see the national program of the coming cycle reconfigured in such a way that it integrates the Vietnamese Government’s priorities and strategies for children, particularly those for child survival and development, in the fields of heathcare, education, prevention of child accidents, clean water and environmental sanitation. In this connection, UNICEF can champion as a provider of child-related knowledge rather than a service provider.

Second, policy advocacy should be highly selective and well planned to focus on child rights and monitoring their implementation.

          Third, it is recommended that UNICEF review to come up with more appropriate areas and strategies of operation, especially in the context of “Delivering As One”, with a view to the best possible effect.

Fourth, in the same vein, it is also recommended that UNICEF better identify its key partners and design plans to help them enhance their capacity.

          Fifth, given the multi-partner involvement in the program, it would be best for UNICEF to concentrate on priority issues of children and allow concerned partners to play their best roles when they have a cutting-edge advantage. In such situations, UNICEF can best support the Government by playing its role as a coordinator.

Sixth, as far as capacity development is concerned, knowledge and capacity of institutional analysis should serve as the basis for elaborating capacity development plans which should focus more on partners’ capacity or institutional arrangements than single issues.

Seventh, greater efforts should be made in analyzing, planning and designing integrated communication activity packages aimed at changing children’s understanding about and behavior toward family, education, prevention of child injuries and accidents, water and sanitation.

          Eighth, the designing, monitoring and evaluation of pilot projects should be conducted on account of their performance, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and feasibility.

          Last, it will be reasonable for the national program to engage to an appropriate extent in general youth and gender issues, while mainly focusing on activities related to friendship schools, adolescents and life skills education.     

Mr. President,

As we move forward on our path of development, we are fully aware of the many challenges facing our children. They include the uneven levels of development among different regions of the country as highlighted by the Regional Director’s report. They further include the weak social security system, the increased flux of young workers into urban areas leaving their children in rural areas exposed to the likelihood of abuse,  exploitation, trafficking and neglect, to name a few. Against such a backdrop, the cooperation with and assistance from UNICEF – with its pool of expertise, experience, and financial resources – will be extremely important for our children. Nearly 40 years ago, the war was raging in Viet Nam. As a person who fought the war and who have witnessed children suffering from this devastating war then and now, I believe our children today deserve a better life. Such a life can only be possible thanks to contributions by all. And a more productive and effective program of cooperation resulting from this review session will be one such contribution.

With this in mind, Mr. President, I thank you.

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