by H.E. Ambassador Bui The Giang
Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam
at the 3rd Committee of the 65th Session of the General Assembly
on Agenda Item: Social Development
New York, 4 October 2010
Since this is the first time during the 65th Session of the General Assembly that I speak at the 3rd Committee, I wish to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your elections and assure you of my Delegation’s full support and cooperation in your conduct of the work of the Committee. I thank the Secretary-General for his comprehensive reports on this Agenda Item.
My Delegation associates itself with the statement made earlier by the distinguished Representative of the Republic of Yemen on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.
As we are gathering here 8 months after the 48th Session of the Commission for Social Development, my Delegation takes note of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report 2010, which announces that the overall poverty rate is expected to fall to 15% by 2015, and that this translates into around 920 million people living under the international poverty line — half the number in 1990. My Delegation acknowledges the Secretary-General’s comment in his Report A/65/174 that “the world does not have more hungry people today because of massive food shortages. There is enough food in the world.” Furthermore, we are somewhat encouraged by signs of economic recovery seen in certain parts of the world economy, opening up some hope for inhabitants of this planet.
Against this seemingly optimistic description, however, the universal consensus is that such recovery is actually slower than expected, fragile and uneven, and that there is no guarantee that a relapse will not occur. We all have witnessed the disastrous blows that the global economic and financial tsumanis have inflicted on all aspects of life of all the socially vulnerable groups, as presented in great detail throughout the Secretary-General’s Reports A/65/168 and A/65/174. It’s alarming to realize that an estimated 75 million additional people became undernourished worldwide, that another 100 million people were added to the number of undernourished, and that the number of hungry in the world has pushed over the 1 billion mark in 2009. It’s similarly worrisome that 64 million people will have been pushed into poverty by the economic meltdown by the end of 2010, on top of the 130-155 million people who already became poor as a result of the food and energy crisis. All in all, progress toward the attainment of internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs, has been undermined, rendering the goal of a “society for all” even more difficult to achieve.
My Delegation shares the Secretary-General’s view that policies to achieve the three pillars of social development, namely, poverty eradication, full employment and social integration, are intertwined and mutually supportive, and should be implemented in parallel. We concur with the 6 general principles for the promotion of social integration and the 6-point human rights framework contained in the Secretary-General’s Report A/65/168. We, at the same time, believe that these principles and framework must be localized into national strategies, programs and plans, taking into account the specific historical, cultural and ethnic conditions as well as the level of development of a country, if they are to be effective. In today’s context of mounting pressures, it is opportune to repeat what President Obama of the United States said here last year at the opening of the General Debate of the 64th General Assembly Session, that “Each society must search for its own path, and no path is perfect. Each country will pursue a path rooted in the culture of its people and in its past traditions.”
In the same line of thought, while supporting the 5 key recommendations at the national level and 5 other recommendations at the international level which the Secretary-General made to promote social integration, regarding his point about the necessity to provide debt relief, concessionary aid and grants to support national efforts to enhance fiscal space, in particular that of the poorer and the least developed countries, we would add “developed countries” to the Secretary-General’s list of donors and international financial institutions. Also, we again underline the imperative for developed countries to honor their commitments of official development assistance (ODA) for developing countries as an important means for the latter to boost the social integration and development process.
Over the past year, my Government has put in place a series of policies and measures in order to both foster economic recovery and address social impacts of the global economic and financial crises, including a number of fiscal stimulus packages and social protection schemes. The Government’s offer of loans to the poorest at preferential rates to encourage trade and production in rural areas as mentioned in the Secretary-General’s Report A/65/174 is just one of many such policies and measures. As a result, the Vietnamese economy has continued its recovery trend. For the first 8 months of this year, we recorded a GDP growth rate of over 6% and expect to reach 6.7% for the whole year. Our exports increased by 19.7% and our rate of ODA disbursement increased by 13.5% YOY. Foreign Direct Investment inflows went up by 3.6% and are likely to be higher than planned for the whole year. Equally important, more than 300,000 jobs were created in the first half of this year, and the figure appears more promising toward the end of this year.
While having grounds for cautious optimism, we understand the degree of uncertainty and a range of challenges our country is still facing. We are fully aware that ever greater efforts must be made to better ensure effective and concerted implementation of all the three pillars of social development, and that together with our own national efforts, we badly need greater and more effective cooperation and assistance from all other members of the international community of which the United Nations can and should play a key role. On our part, we are prepared to work responsibly and dedicatedly for the accomplishment of the commitment which all Governments of the world made in Copenhagen 15 years ago and in New York just 2 weeks ago at the High-level Plenary Meeting on MDGs.
I thank you, Mr. Chairman.