Donors and Viet Nam share common vision on legal development priorities

15 Nov 2002

Ha Noi - Leading Legal Agencies in Viet Nam and international donors met today to review legal cooperation and to agree on priorities for legal system development over the next ten years.

Today’s meeting was first ever gathering to focus on the role and effectiveness of international cooperation in support of Viet Nam’s legal system development. The conference, which brought together representatives and experts of international donors and Vietnamese legal agencies, focussed on priority needs of the country’s Legal Needs Assessment Action Plan and the role of international cooperation in fostering the continued development of the Rule of Law.

“The effort to deepen the ‘Doi Moi’ reform process and Viet Nam’s commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals will be aided by the further development of a comprehensive legal system and law enforcement institutions,“ said UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam Jordan Ryan. “Today’s conference is a important milestone in the Government’s effort to accelerate legal and judicial reforms. It offered a unique opportunity for donors to work together in an innovative and supportive way of Viet Nam’s legal priorties.“

The conference, jointly organised by the Inter-Agency Steering Committee charged with assessing national legal reform needs and UNDP, was held as a government-led multi-donor mission is at work to assess ways for the international community to best assist Viet Nam in achieving its legal reform strategy and plans.

Minister of Justice Uong Chu Luu, who attended the conference, warmly welcomed donors’ support to Viet Nam in legal system development. “The conference takes place in a very significant and critical moment when the National Assembly is discussing the Bill on Law making and a strategy for Viet Nam’s Legal System Development to 2010 is about to receive the Government’s approval.” Minister Luu noted that donors’ assistance is very important for Vietnamese legal agencies to successfully implement the strategy.

The conference emphasized the needs to reinforce collaboration between donors and Vietnamese legal agencies, as well as among donors and the various Vietnamese agencies themselves. UNDP praised the Legal Needs Assessment as a model of international collaboration. One hundred and twenty national experts and twenty international experts have been actively involved in this exercise. This work was directed by the Government of Viet Nam with active support of a wide range of donors, including the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, UNDP, as well as the Governments of Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Japan and Sweden.

Viet Nam has made considerable progress in developing its legal system over the past fifteen years. This has been due to both national efforts and the assistance of the international community. However, attention now needs to be paid to further reforms. It was noted at the Conference that the absence of both a comprehensive legal development strategy and a mechanism for joint aid coordination have limited the efficiency and impact of international assistance to this field. It was within this context that the Prime Minister instructed the Ministry of Justice to play a lead role in establishing an Inter-Agency Steering Committee to provide greater impetus and focus to the legal reform effort based on the 10 year legal strategy.

Contact Information

Nguyen Viet Lan, UNDP Public Information Assistant
phone 9421495 (ext 186)