(VOV) -The National Assembly (NA) approval for revisions to the Constitution, the State funeral of General Vo Nguyen Giap, and new laws imposing stricter punishment for corruption were among the most prominent events in Vietnam this year.
1. The 13th NA approves the Constitution (revised)
With 97.59% of votes in favour, the NA passed 1992 Constitutional amendments at its plenary session in Hanoi on November 28.
The revised constitution more clearly and fully reflects the democratic and progressive nature of the Vietnamese State in the transitional period. It also more clearly defines the political regime, organisation of the State apparatus, human rights, and citizens’ rights and obligations.
2. Party Central Committee plenums decide important issues for national sustainable development
The 7th and 8th Party Committee Plenums adopted resolutions on renewing and completing the political system from the central to grassroots levels.
The resolutions focused on strategic-level officials planning, pro-active response to climate change, natural resources and environmental protection, comprehensive educational reform, and national defence strategy in the new situation.
3. Outstanding diplomatic achievements
Vietnam has established a strategic partnership with Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Italy, and France. Vietnam and the US also have defined a comprehensive strategic partnership framework.
In addition, the country was elected a member of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and a member of the UN Human Rights Council. Its message of “Building strategic trust” in external relations has won great accolades from the international community.
4. Macro-economy stabilized, inflation controlled, social welfare ensured
Vietnam’s GDP growth in 2013 has been estimated at 5.42%, inflation rate at 6.04%, and the poverty rate at less than 8%.
The economic restructuring process has been bolstered, while the shift of economic growth model has been greatly enhanced, with a focus on the financial, banking and State-owned sectors.
5. Passing of Legendary General Giap
General Vo Nguyen Giap, former Commander-in-chief of the Vietnam People’s Army, passed away in Hanoi on October 4 at the age of 103.
Giap, who worked as a teacher, journalist, historian and revolutionary activist, is considered one of the greatest generals of all times.
6. Major corruption defendants receive death sentence
Major corruption cases were brought to court, mostly relating to the banking and ship-building sectors.
Many defendants received death penalties. Among them were two former executives of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) – Former Chairman Duong Chi Dung and former General Director Mai Van Phuc who faced the highest penalty for embezzlement.
7. Record number of tropical storms strike Vietnam
Vietnam faced 19 tropical storms and low-pressure systems in 2013. The strongest tropical storms No. 10 and 11wrought great human and property losses throughout the central region.
A prompt response from the government, great efforts of the rescue forces, and quickly distributed relief aid assisted victims of the national disasters overcome the severe consequences and stabilize their daily lives.
The calamites left nearly 300 dead and caused property losses estimated atVND25 trillion.
8. Vietnam’s population reaches 90 million
Vietnam welcomed its 90 millionth citizen in Hanoi on November 1, making the country the 14th most populous in the world.
The large population scale provides Vietnam with both opportunities and challenges in the years ahead.
9. Concerns about environmental pollution and food hygiene and safety
Many violations in the healthcare sector were discovered, such as false blood test results at Hoai Duc district hospital, and Cat Tuong cosmetic surgery clinic.
There’s growing concern about toxic chemical discharge from plants and food poisoning cases in many localities across from the country.
Meanwhile, a rising number of fatal traffic accidents and explosions also made a strong negative impact on people’s living conditions.
10. Vietnamese folk music wins UNESCO’s recognition
The art of Don Ca Tai Tu’s music and songs in southern Vietnam officially became a recognized UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Known as a musical art that has both scholarly and folk roots, Don Ca Tai Tu (amateur singing) developed in southern Vietnam in the late 19th century.
People in the south consider it an indispensable spiritual cultural activity and a highly valued part of their cultural heritage, which is performed at numerous events, such as festivals, death anniversary rituals, and celebratory social events.