Vietnam Red Cross pays heed to disaster prevention

Since Vietnam joined the UN in 1977, it has actively engaged in UN-initiated activities, increasing its relations with other member countries and organisations. From the very first days that the country won UN official membership, it received full advocacy from other UN members, including at the 32nd UN General Assembly when it received approval of Resolution 32/2, which called on nations and aid organisations worldwide to help Vietnam's post-war reconstruction work. Vietnam has also received substantial financial aid and technical support from the UN for its socio-economic development endeavours. During the 1977-1991 period, Vietnam's role and status at the UN were minimised by the Cold War. Despite a myriad of difficulties caused by economic sanctions, Vietnam still managed to mobilise non-refundable aid amounting to more than US$500 million from UN agencies. UN organisations have played a critical role in helping Vietnam overcome socio-economic difficulties and and consequences of wars and natural disasters. They have also provided Vietnam with assistance in various areas, including healthcare, education, maternal and child protection and care and implementation of family planning. These organisations have also created favourable conditions for Vietnam to improve its scientific and technological development, upgrade and build more production units, and enhance its development competence. Since 1991, Vietnam has actively adhered to UN programmes covering themes of global concern such as peace, security, disarmament, socio-economic development, family planning and environmental protection, thus helping to raise the country's status among UN members. To date, twelve UN agencies have opened representative offices in Vietnam,…... [read more]

The session took place at a time when the world is experiencing complications in political and security relations. Regional conflicts, a high risk of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the fight against terrorism, environmental and climate change continue to top issues of international concern. Leaders will discuss these issues at high-level debates to devise appropriate solutions. Earlier, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon told media workers that high-level debates this year will mark a period of ever-frantic multilateral diplomatic activities in the history of this biggest international organisation. Therefore, the session as well as high-level debates will be of great significance for Vietnam. More importantly, UN member countries will vote on Vietnam’s bid to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2008-09 period on October 16. Since its membership on September 20, 1977, Vietnam has actively participated in the UN’s common activities and in many areas such as peace, security, disarmament, as well as socio-economic development, population, environmental protection and UN reform. Its active participation and contributions have been acknowledged by the international community. The country has been elected to the executive board of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). In an interview granted to local media workers in Hanoi last week, John Hendra, UN resident coordinator in Vietnam, said the UN and Vietnam have built an active, trustworthy and mutually respectful partnership. This partnership has demonstrated Vietnam’s tremendous achievements and helped the UN fulfil its role in…... [read more]

VGCL Deputy President Nguyen Hoa Binh said he expects the information, including progress reports on internationally funded projects, will help foreign donors to get a true idea of how their aid is working, to improve the VGCL as well as the capacity of its employees to protect workers’ rights and interests more efficiently. Over the past few years the VGCL has received enormous assistance from UN agencies such as the UN Development Programme, the UN Population Fund and the International Labour Organisation as well as from trade unions in other countries, including Norway, Sweden, Denmark and France. Effective assistance has also come from foreign non-governmental organisations such as the Union Network International, the German FES Hanoi Office and Oxfam Belgium. Their projects have focused on improving the capacity of Union activists by conducting research, field-trips, conferences, workshops and training courses. Foreign participants, including Danish Ambassador Peter Hansen and representatives from the International Labour Organisation, the FES Hanoi Office and the EC mission in Hanoi were all satisfied with the information released at the meeting. They said the meeting will help the donors community to consider more aid and cooperation programmes with the VGCL in more effective ways.... [read more]

The US$4.38 million programme is funded by the Government of Norway and will be run by the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development over two years. It is a joint programme of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). The Central Highland province of Lam Dong has been selected as a pilot site. According to the UN, REDD will support the Vietnamese Government in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and will create financial incentives for Vietnam to preserve and improve its forests. It will also help to combat climate change, conserve biodiversity and reverse land degradation and desertification. In addition, the programme will look at ways to help the countries of the lower Mekong basin avoid cross-border leakages of emissions. Vietnam is one of nine countries chosen for the UN-REDD programme and it is the first country to fully implement measures to reduce deforestation and forest degradation. The UN programme is of great importance as over half of Vietnam’s forests are in danger of degenerating.... [read more]

He made the acknowledgement at a meeting on the joint programme between the government and UN agencies on preventing avian influenza and flu among humans in Hanoi on January 14. Participants in the meeting, including representatives of national and international organisation such as the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), assessed the implementation of the programme over the past year and put forth suggestions and solutions for this year. Bisson Andrew, a representative from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), suggested an official mechanism for making plans among parties to avoid the overlap of components of the bird flu prevention programme. He emphasised the prevention work and pledged to join hands with the Vietnamese government in the fight against the disease. Many other issues such as culling fowls, restructuring the poultry sector and adjusting farmers’ behavior attitudes were dealt with the prevention bird flu. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong reiterated the Vietnamese government’s commitment to bird flu prevention.... [read more]

The figure was released at a seminar on raising public awareness of the need for community-based natural disaster management, held in Hanoi on August 25 by the Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Centre under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Participants agreed that natural disasters in Vietnam are becoming more and more serious, affecting millions of people every year. They focused on reviewing a community-based natural disaster management project implemented by several non-governmental organisations, as well as building detailed action plans for localities and regions, helping improve the effectiveness of the project. There are now 17 foreign, domestic and non-governmental organisations taking part in natural disaster management activities in 23 provinces and cities nationwide.... [read more]

The seminar was jointly held by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the HCM City Statistics Office and Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. Speaking at the event, Le Thi Thanh Loan, Acting Director of the HCM City Statistics Office, said that poverty reduction should be based on multidimensional criteria, including income, education, health, social welfare, housing quality and area, housing services, participation in social activities and social safety. The multidimensional access approach helps to provide more comprehensive assessments on people’s lives and poverty reduction policies should also be based on this model, she said. As a major urban centre with high socio-economic development goals, HCM City is paying strong attention to poverty reduction to address a growing income gap and increased flows of immigrants, she added. According to experts, to achieve sustainable poverty reduction, the city should strengthen access to social welfare systems and improve housing services. It needs to have long-term policies in support of poor people, especially immigrants, and its poverty reduction programmes should be combined with socio-economic development plans. In addition to increasing incomes for residents, HCM City should pay attention to assisting them with education, health, vocational training, job placement and housing issues. Over the past 20 years, the city has allocated over VND15 trillion for its poverty reduction programme and more than 1.1 million poor households were provided with loans, said Nguyen Van Xe, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.... [read more]

The workshop is part of a project to strengthen the capacity of enforcing international treaties on human rights between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Addressing the opening session, Ha Kim Ngoc, Assistant to the Foreign Minister, described human rights as the common desire and achievements of human struggles over various stages of development. He affirmed the Vietnamese Party and State’s consistent policy of striving for better human rights for the people. Ngoc said the workshop is an opportunity for participants to share information and experience to promote human rights in Vietnam as well as building and completing the human rights mechanism in the region. The two-day workshop drew the participation of officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Public Security, Justice, Home Affairs, Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, and Information and Communications, the UNDP, and experts from domestic and foreign research agencies on human rights.... [read more]

Post-war mine clearance tops General Vinh’s US visit Vinh, who is head of the State Steering Committee on the National Action Programme on Settling Consequences of Unexploded Ordnance (known as Steering Committee 504), has met with representatives from the US Departments of State, Defence, and Labour, and with Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s sub-committee on State and Foreign Operations. The delegation held several working sessions with US agencies on bomb and mine clearance technology. Additional sessions included meetings with the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). At the meetings, Vinh affirmed that Vietnam is determined to implement its national action strategy on overcoming the consequences of post-war unexploded ordnance by 2020 and beyond. He informed the hosts of the current bomb and mine pollution situation in Vietnam, as well as joint efforts by the Government, social and humanitarian organisations and local authorities in gradually addressing the issue in the country’s war-torn provinces. The Deputy Minister suggested the US Government and relevant agencies take responsibility for providing assistance to Vietnam and strengthening cooperation in humanitarian issues and effectively overcoming the prolonged aftermath of the war, especially unexploded bombs, mines and Agent Orange/dioxin. “Vietnam-US collaboration in addressing the post-war bomb and mine consequences not only helps heal war wounds of the past, but also lays foundations for future cooperation of the two countries’ young generations,” he stressed. The US officials vowed to…... [read more]

United Nations (UN) Country Director in Vietnam Pratibha Mehta says despite huge progress made over the past 20 years, Vietnam still encounters difficulties and needs strong support from international development partners. According to UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Vietnam, it is vital the country gains experience and good policy consultation on how to cope with the challenges which will arise from equal growth as well as deal with the growing problem of social injustice. UNDP is set to more effectively support balanced growth processes and promote human rights to help Vietnam implement the Millennium Development Goal (MDGs) and priorities in the 2011-2020 strategy for socio-economic development and the 2011-2015 plan for socio-economic development. The Vietnamese Government and UNDP are cooperating on areas such as balanced growth, national governance and sustainable development. UNDP in Vietnam is coordinating with other partners to implement a development programme after 2015, based on public opinion. Practical results With support from the UN and other development partners, Vietnam has successfully fulfilled the majority of MDGs, particularly poverty reduction at national level ahead of the 2015 schedule. Vietnam has experienced diverse periods of development in a very short time. From the post-war national re-construction to the current Doi Moi (Renewal) process, it has become an internationally recognised partner and a source of great encouragement for many other nations, Pratibha Mehta notes. In 2012, Vietnam was ranked sixth, globally, for its considerable progress in the implementation of MDGs. However, the country should make greater efforts to ensure qualitative…... [read more]

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