Vietnam has won plaudits from the international community for its achievements in fulfilling many of its United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead of schedule.
During the Annual Ministerial Review of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSCO), which is taking place in Geneva from July 1-4, delegates from countries such as Laos, the Republic of Korea and Mozambique praised Vietnam’s success in this field.
As one of the three countries selected to voluntarily share their experience and progress in national development, Vietnam told the meeting that by 2012, the country had reached many of the MDGs committed to the international community.
In ten years the country has halved the number of poor people and continues to make encouraging progress in the first goal to eradicate hunger and poverty. The poverty rate has dropped from 58.1 percent in 1993 to 10.7 percent in 2010.
In 2000, the country achieved universal high-standard primary education and by 2012, net enrolment rates for primary education reached 97.7 percent.
Remarkable progress has also been seen in promoting gender equality and empowering women, as well as improving child and maternal health.
The country has obtained significant achievements in establishing global partnerships for development, helping mobilise foreign investment flow and official development assistance (ODA) while taking advantage of opportunities offered by trade liberalisation to spur economic growth and poverty reduction.
However, a substantial proportion of the population is in danger of falling back into poverty, as Vietnam is one of the countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
Vietnam has, so far, fulfilled three goals ahead of schedule, with three more expected to be reached by 2015.
Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyen The Phuong, who led the Vietnamese delegation to the event, told the Vietnam News Agency that two others MDGs, including ensuring environmental sustainability and restraining the growth rate of HIV, still face an array of challenges.
This year, the ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review has put the spotlight on the role of science, technology and innovation in the promotion of sustainable development.
Phuong noted that Vietnamese laws, such as the Law on Technological Transfer and the Law on Intellectual Property, have created a legal framework to promote the development of these areas.
The Vietnamese Government has also paid special attention to science-technology and innovation, he said, citing the adoption of the Law on Science and Technology in 2001 as an example.
Phuong’s delegation proactively held bilateral meetings in Geneva to exchange scientific and technological models that can aid the countries to reach their MDGs.
Vietnam is willing to share its experience in achieving the MDGs through the South-South cooperation model (in which developing countries exchange resources and knowledge) and hopes to continue receiving cooperation and support from the international community in order to raise the job’s quality, Phuong said.
The country is actively partnering with the UN in devising the post-2015 Development Agenda.
As one of the countries selected by the UN to conduct national consultations and study the desires and challenges of the consultative groups, Vietnam’s final report will make a significant contribution to the agenda.