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Viet Nam & UN
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Bui The Giang on Agenda Item 65: Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children
10-15-2009, 03:41 pm

Statement by

H.E. Ambassador Bui The Giang

Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam

At the 3rd Committee of the 64th General Assembly

on Agenda Item 65: Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Children

(15 October 2009)


Mr. Chairman,

At the outset, my Delegation wishes to thank you for the opportunity to speak on this important issue directly related to our present and future. We also thank for the Secretary-General for his tabled reports. We thank all speakers for their briefings.

Mr. Chairman,

My Delegation commends the progress achieved during the reporting period in promoting and protecting the rights of children all over the world. We are particularly grateful to UN entities, particularly UNICEF and UNESCO, for their enormous efforts in leading and coordinating initiatives in the best interest of children, including protecting them from all forms of violence and ensuring them access to education, health and other services. We also appreciate the work of the Office of Special Representative of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in monitoring and reporting on violations committed against children in armed conflict situations.

However, we share the concerns raised in the Secretary-General’s reports about the persistence of the various forms of child labour, violence against children, particularly in conflict situations, discrimination against girls, and trafficking in children, as well as the high number of child victims of HIV/AIDS, drugs, etc… While each of these issues may need a set of concrete measures, my Delegation believes that the overall objective of protecting and promoting child rights can only be achieved if we can manage to successfully address at least the following 3 issues:

First, to incorporate the protection and promotion of child rights into national legal systems and socio-economic development strategies and policies. This is even more imperative given the fact that in the context of the global economic and financial crisis, many countries would put the need to recover the economy on top of their agenda at the expense of children’s interests. In the case of Viet Nam, the improved legal system on the protection of child rights, the endorsed National Action Plan for Children for the 2001-2010 period, and the incorporation of children’s issues into the 5-year Socio-Economic Development Plans have together resulted in a comprehensive framework and political guidelines for the protection of children in the country, thus creating solid foundations for concrete measures and steps to be undertaken.

Second, to achieve a universal understanding that education is the most important solution to sustainable protection and promotion of child rights. This is not easy in circumstances where destitute poverty is a day-to-day reality and people have to do whatever they can to make both ends meet, hence the prevailing “quick buck” mentality. In Viet Nam, experiencing time and again extreme hardships and their consequences under foreign rules and devastating wars, we have come to believe that investing in education for children is investing in our own future. At the Government level, a wide range of strategies and policies have been put in place to ensure maximum access to education for children, improve education environment to attract children to schools and keep them in schools, increase completion rate, and provide vocational trainings for children. This, combined with the valuable support from UN agencies and international partners, has brought about significant gains over the last few years, most encouraging of which are the universalization rate of 97.5% for primary education and 85% for secondary education. Our cooperation with UNICEF and other partners has been particularly effective in designing and implementing in recent years a number of special projects on building child-friendly schools in remote and poor provinces, as well as some projects on education targeting disadvantaged children, including children with disabilities.

Third, to give priority to improving healthcare for children, including inter alia ensuring free vaccination and immunization, reducing child morbidity, mortality and injury rates, providing children with social protection schemes. All this is nothing new, for all the Member States have shown their strong commitment to these issues by defining related indicators in Millennium Development Goals. However, gaps and challenges remain. In Viet Nam, while proud of the likelihood to fulfil and over-fulfil most MDGs, we are deeply concerned about the ominous failure of the HIV/AIDS-related goal. To put it simple, we are having difficulty controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing treatment for HIV/AIDS carriers, including children. In 2007, the number of affected children aged between 13 and 19 accounted for 7.15% of the total number of HIV/AIDS carriers, let alone some 22,000 children becoming orphans due to HIV/AIDS-affected parents. In this connection, we look forward to greater and more efficient support from UN agencies and international partners to our National Action Plan on HIV/AIDS and children.

With such a mixed picture of realities on the ground in Viet Nam and in many other countries as well, I believe much remains to be done if we are honestly and sincerely determined to endeavour for the sake of children. Let me, in this regard, reaffirm Viet Nam’s readiness to work closely with the United Nations system and the international community.

I thank you.

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