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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’s Meeting on Food and Energy Crisis
07-18-2008, 10:45 am


by H.E. Ambassador Bui The Giang,

Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam to the United Nations

At the General Assembly’s Meeting on Food and Energy Crisis

New York, 18 July 2008

Mr. President,

I wish to thank you for convening this important meeting on food and energy crisis. Let me also join other speakers in commending the practical steps that the United Nations has taken to address the food crisis issue, particularly the Secretary-General’s initiative to establish the UN inter-agency High-level Task Force to promote unified response to the global food challenge. I especially appreciate the “Comprehensive Framework for Action” (CFA) that the Task Force has just issued for it has succeeded to a certain extent in its aim of providing “a range of options from which choices can be made by governments and institutions” as well as guidance and impetus to the many actors to “address immediate needs, build resilience and contribute to long-term food security” as stated by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the cover letter of the document. We will study thoroughly this document in order to select and apply whatever best suited to the specific conditions of  Viet Nam. We also wish to see the document expand further to cover in greater length the continuously soaring oil price and energy supply deficit – one of the main and direct causes of the food crisis.

Mr. President,

Though being a rice exporting country, Viet Nam has not been exception to the food crisis. The escalation of oil prices has sharply triggered food processing costs and costs of fertilizers, shipping, and storage, resuling in soaring food prices. Within two months of April and May of this year, Vietnamese consumers experienced a double increase in rice price.  At the macro level, price escalation has been followed by a two-digit inflation rate, which poses a formidable challenge for the Vietnamese economy this year.

In face of this situation, the Vietnamese Government has undertaken a series of emergency measures to ensure sufficient rice supply in the market while accelerating the elaboration of a longer-term plan on food security, for which, we believe, the Task Force’s CFA will serve as an essential input.

Mr. President,

As the world’s second largest rice exporter, Viet Nam is fully aware of its responsibility at this difficult time. We have for the past several months signed rice exporting contracts with a number of Asian and African partners. In anticipation of the country’s estimated rice export volume of 4.5 million metric tons this year or even more if our farmers can enjoy another bumper harvest this winter, my Government continues to put in place more intensive measures to help increase agricultural production, including inter alia promoting agro-based R & D, improving rice varieties, providing farmers with fertilizers, technical assistance, upgrading irrigation networks, and storage and transport facilities. These measures will hopefully allow us to ensure our long-term domestic food security and at the same time contribute to the stable global food supply.

Mr. President,

As I have mentioned a moment ago, there’s a close association between the current food crisis and the high energy price, calling for a solution that deals with both crises simultaenously. Therefore, while recognizing the efforts of many countries and organizations in carrying out in-depth research for new sources of energy and maintaining oil production levels, we propose, Mr. President, that the United Nations develop a comprehensive study on the energy crisis, and on that basis, produce a set of policy recommendations at national, regional and global levels, as the CFA has done in relation to the food crisis. If such a document can be prepared, the United Nations can again prove its indispensable value as a center of collective wisdom to the world community in general and developing countries in particular.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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