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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Le Hoai Trung Permanent Representative of Viet Nam at the Third Committee of the Sixty-Sixth Session of the General Assembly on Agenda Item: Social Development
11-25-2011, 12:30 am

                                                                                New York 4 October 2010
             Mr. Chairman,

            Since this is the first time I take the floor at the Third 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 statements made earlier by the Representative of Argentina on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and by the Representative of Malaysia on behalf of ASEAN.

            Mr. Chairman,

While the world economy has not yet fully recovered from the 2008-2009 global financial crisis, already, it is in danger of falling into “a new danger zone” with “a recovery that is much weaker than was predicted” as many countries are struggling with public debts, fiscal deficit, high inflation rates, unemployment risks and unsustainable recovery. Enormous challenges with imminent serious consequences remain for some countries and for the international community as a whole, among them the increasingly devastating and widespread natural disasters, let alone the emerging political and security instability in many parts of the world. I share the Secretary-General’s comment in his report that all this has proven to be “a major impediment to the implementation of international social development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals and the goals of the World Summit for Social Development”, when many countries, developed and developing countries alike, are forced to reduce social spending, resulting in setbacks reported in many areas.

Mr. Chairman,

Fully aware of the imperative to ensure the best livelihoods for the population given the current level of physical and economic development of the country so as to motivate their best contributions to nation-building, the Vietnamese Government has made hard efforts in maintaining a balance between economic growth and social development.  This is particularly evident over the past few years when we have worked our utmost to overcome the negative impacts of the financial crisis and maintain economic growth while improving the quality of life, health-care and education for the people.

As a result, while Viet Nam’s total domestic product per capita in 2010 was about three times higher than that of 2000, the national poverty rate was brought down from 22% in 2005 to 9.45% in 2010. Access to better quality basic healthcare services has improved. Deaths from infectious diseases were reduced in number. Major epidemics have been promptly controlled. Over 93.7% of children are vaccinated against dangerous diseases. Child malnutrition rates have gone from 33.8% down to 18%. All forms of child labor exploitation, abuse and trafficking are strictly prohibited. Social welfare and social security programs have enjoyed great attention and gradually expanded. Health insurance coverage has grown almost 5 times 2000 and 2010 respectively. Progress continues to register in gender equality. The number of women in the National Assembly and holding important positions in the political system keep increasing. Viet Nam has accomplished most of the MDGs ahead of the 2015 deadline. Mr. Chairman, over the course of our development towards these achievements, we have received the invaluable support, assistance and cooperation from United Nations agencies and many other development partners and the international community at large.

However, to fully maintain the development momentum, Viet Nam has to successfully deal with many difficulties and challenges. They include the inadequate infrastructure and low competitiveness of the economy, the need to ensure the fulfilment of all MDGs in all parts of the country and benefiting people of all walks of life. As one among the countries of the world to be worst hit by climate change and sea water level rise, our failure to mitigate and adapt will mean hard-earned gains set back, and endeavours to accomplish MDGs hindered. At the same time, stronger development in education and health-care services are required to meet the demand of the people. In that context, the implementation of 2011-2020 Strategy on Socio-economic Development and its 5 Year Plan, the 2011-2020 Strategy on Social Security, etc. plays a crucial role.

Mr. Chairman,

Although the financial crisis did not originate from developing countries, their economies were not immune to this turmoil, and the poorest countries are the most vulnerable to the vicissitudes of the global economy. It is, therefore, extremely important for the international community to develop new practical and appropriate initiatives and strengthen solidarity and cooperation to assist developing countries in overcoming the challenges and difficulties they are facing and in striving for social development, especially when the MDGs 2015 deadline is around the corner. On our part, we would like to reaffirm Viet Nam’s commitment to the Copenhagen Declaration and Program of Action, as well as the initiatives for social development adopted by the General Assembly at the 24th special session.

            I thank you, Mr. Chairman./.

[1] The International Monetary Fund.  World Economic Outlook Report 2011

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