45 Years of Viet Nam - UNDP Partnership

June 6, 2023

Ms Ramla Khalidi, Resident Representative, UNDP Viet Nam

UNDP Viet Nam

Deputy Minister of Planning & Investment, Mr Tran Quoc Phuong

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Do Hung Viet

Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Colleagues and Friends

A warm welcome to this celebration of partnership between UNDP and the government of Viet Nam.

I am humbled and honored, to represent UNDP at this milestone, marking 45 years of shared aspirations for the people of Viet Nam.

President Ho Chi Minh often spoke of (doan ket) or unity as the key ingredient for success. His words resonate not only as a clarion call for internal unity but also as a guiding principle for international cooperation.

When UNDP opened its office in Hanoi in 1978, it was a very different time; A time of economic hardship and diplomatic isolation.  

Back then, UNDP was one of the few channels of international development assistance available to Viet Nam.

No doubt, the doi moi policies of the 1980s were the result of an unambiguously national process; A home-grown journey characterized by the courage to experiment, and the wisdom to learn from experiences.

These are traits that have served Viet Nam well. UNDP is proud to have accompanied Viet Nam in that journey, through our grants programmes, sharing global lessons to inform the transition towards a more dynamic economy able to unleash the full potential of its people.

Viet Nam today is a modern, dynamic middle-income country with aspirations to achieve high income status within a generation, and with characteristic ambition, net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. It is also a country that stands tall on the international stage demonstrating leadership and commitment to the multilateral agenda.

As I get to know Viet Nam better, three facets of our relationship stand out:

The first is trust. Trust that was built over time, as promises were fulfilled, plans brought to fruition, and pledges realized. Over the years trust allowed us to broaden our partnership with new collaboration on trade, private sector support, climate action and good governance.

The second is shared values embodied in the UN Charter and in the various agreements to which Viet Nam is both a party and an architect. These values are at the heart of Viet Nam’s quest to be a world leader in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, with ever-growing inclusion of women, ethnic minorities, and people living with disabilities.

Finally, our relationship is based on openness and the ability to communicate frankly even when—or perhaps especially when—partners have different points of view. An openness that stems from our mutual trust and shared values.

Excellencies, colleagues and friends,

It will soon be one year since I arrived in Viet Nam. Every day, I am awe-struck by the country’s intense beauty and potential and by the bustling energy of its people, and its streets.  Equally, I am inspired by the exceptional dedication, and resourcefulness of Vietnamese leaders, professionals and experts, at the core of our programmes.

I’d like to extend my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to our partners across all government agencies and entities.

I’d also like to thank as well as academic institutions, civil society organizations, and businesses who play an increasingly important role in advancing sustainability and development.

Finally, I’d like to thank all members of the UNDP family, past and present and, especially, our long-serving members for their hard work, commitment, and contributions to Viet Nam’s development.

Forty-five years later we remain as committed to our mission as on that first day in May 1978.  I look forward to many more years of fruitful partnership.