UN attends new platform for high level policy dialogue

05 Dec 2013

Ha Noi – At the Viet Nam Development Partnership Forum (VDPF) 2013 - the first of its kind - the UN, together with Government, development partners, local and international civil society organizations, national research institutions and other development actors discussed how to foster a broad based socio-economic development in Viet Nam.

Forum is positive signal
The evolution from the previous Consultative Group Meeting of donors to this year’s Viet Nam Development Partnership Forum is a positive signal and a reflection of Viet Nam’s accession to Lower Middle Income Country status. The overarching team for the Forum for the period of 2013-2015 is “establishing new partnerships towards competitive, inclusive and sustainable growth”.

Extensive preparations
Preparations for the Forum have involved extensive working group consultations with a variety of development partners and stakeholders, including United Nations agencies in Viet Nam. According to UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam, Pratibha Mehta, “the United Nations firmly believes that it will be essential to maintain the momentum created and that a collective commitment is made on the part of all parties to the discussions to constructively follow through on the conclusions and recommendations reached during the Forum.”

Four themes
Opening the meeting, World Bank Country Director for Viet Nam, Ms. Victoria Kwakwa, stressed the need for concrete actions and collective responsibility of government, development partners and NGOs. For 2013 the government of Viet Nam and development partners listed four themes as the focus for discussion:

  1. Poverty reduction and ethnic minority poverty reduction
  2. Promoting private sector engagement in provision of water and sanitation services
  3. Improving effectiveness of environment management systems
  4. Strengthening competitiveness through vocational training and skills development

Focus on ethnic minorities
During the Forum Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung affirmed the need to maintain macro-economic stability and create stronger competitiveness by several measures such as restructuring state owned enterprises (SOEs), training high quality human resources, creating a roadmap for market prices and subsidies and restructuring the finance and banking system.  The Prime Minister expressed his willingness to fight corruption, create better social protection for all people and ensure employment for sustainable poverty reduction, especially among ethnic minorities.

In this respect, UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam, Pratibha Mehta, made joint UN recommendations allowing ethnic minority men and women become actors of their own change.  “The MDGs lag behind when it comes to ethnic minorities, it’s time to create time-bound and measurable targets in a result based framework”, she said. The UN Resident coordinator recommended reactivating high level mechanisms for leadership and accountability, investing in cultural rights and in public awareness. Community level participation should be ensured in policy planning implementation and monitoring and civil society organizations should be involved in the decision making process.  

Concrete actions
At the end of the Forum, Ms. Kwakwa summarized issues raised and possible concrete actions, including SOE’s reform, facing out subsidies, reduction of overlap in development work, better translation of MDGs to ethnic minorities’ situation and more ownership of local communities. She encouraged the working groups to continue their work and have it approved at ministerial level. Bui Quang Vinh, Minister of Planning and Investment closed the Forum highlighting Viet Nam’s achievements. “The Forum marks the transition from Viet Nam being and aid recipient to a partner”, he said.

More information?
Read the full UN statement here.