Winers of Millennium Media Contest Announced

Jun 26, 2003

Ha Noi - To mark Viet Nam’s Revolutionary Journalism Day, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), in collaboration with the Central Commission for Ideology and Culture and (CCIC) of the  Communist Party of Viet Nam, presented today the awards to the winners of the Media Contest on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The contest, funded by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom (DFID), was launched in October 2002 to encourage Vietnamese people to write and publish newspaper articles about the MDGs. The competition is part of a national campaign to improve the public’s understanding of these development goals in Viet Nam.

The eight MDGs – eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development – were adopted by some 189 countries, including Viet Nam, at the historic UN Millennium Summit in September 2000.  The MDGs represent a consensus by world leaders on global development priorities and goals to the year 2015.

The Jury is composed of representatives from CCIC, the Ministry of Culture and Information, Viet Nam’s Journalists’ Association, Viet Nam News Agency and UNDP.

A 6 million VND second prize was presented to Nguyen Duc Minh, reporter of Labourer Newspaper for his article “Why quality of life in Ho Chi Minh City not yet high?” The jury said the article was recognized for its policy impact on the implementation of MDGs in Ho Chi Minh City. The article was based on a UN report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) entitled “Bringing the MDGs closer to the People”. Measures now are reportedly being discussed to rethink the city’s socio-economic development policies to address social challenges especially HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and prostitution, said to deteriorate the city's quality of life.

The other second prize was awarded to Hoang Tu Giang, reporter of Viet Nam Economic Times, for his story “Mam Song Tren Cat” (Germ of Life on Sandy Soil) or printed in English as “Mothers of Invention”. This article featured the tough post-war life of former female soldiers in Ngu Thuy commune, the central province of Quang Binh.

The recipients of four 3 million VND third prizes were: Nguyen Trong Hung, Tuyen Quang newspaper for “Shouldering baskets of rice to raise children”; Vo Minh Tuan, Student Newspaper for “The whole commune learn to ride bikes”; Pham Khoi Nguyen, Vice Minister of Natural Resources and Environment for “Balancing economic growth, population and environment for sustainable development”; and Ho Ngan, Nghe An newspaper for “Alphabet conveyor to mountainous village”.

In addition to four 1 million VND consolation prizes, a 3 million VND institution award was also presented to Ha Tinh newspaper for their active participation in this effort with twelve articles submitted to the competition.

According to Mr. Dao Duy Quat, Vice-Chairman of CCIC, 76 people from more than 20 provinces throughout the country participated in the contest  and produced over 100 entries. He said the MDGs lie at the heart of Viet Nam’s development vision which places people at the centre. Therefore, he suggested widening and deepening the MDG campaign to bring the Goals closer to the local level. Future activities could include training for journalists and editors on MDG reporting, for leaders of mass associations such as Viet Nam’s Fatherland Front, Youth Union and a public awareness effort across the country.

Jordan Ryan, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator congratulated the winners of the competition. He said the press can act as a powerful enabler of economic growth, social progress and poverty reduction and that Viet Nam should make full use of its media, composed of about 600 newspapers, magazines, broadcasting and television stations with more than 13,000 trained journalists, to spread the messages of human development and progress.

Mr. Ryan said the initiative offers an opportunity for the UN to "actively engage Vietnamese people  in thinking about how we can all work together, towards tackling the major challenges of the 21st century such as poverty, sustainable environment, HIV/AIDS and gender inequality. These issues are at the forefront of UN work in Viet Nam.”

In Viet Nam, Government, donors, and NGOs have worked together to localize the MDGs and make them more relevant and specific to Viet Nam. The Ten Year Socio-Economic Development Strategy 2001-2010, various national programmes and the new Comprehensive Poverty Reduction and Growth Strategy (CPRGS) capture the spirit of the MDGs and demonstrate Viet Nam’s commitment to reaching these global development priorities.

According to the UN, Viet Nam continues to make significant progress towards the MDGs. Viet Nam has been leading the developing world in reducing poverty, nearly halving its poverty rate from 58 per cent in 1990 to some 29 per cent in 2002 - well ahead of the global schedule of 2015.

Over the past decade, Viet Nam also has significantly improved access to primary education, clean water and sanitation, and lowered rates of food insecurity, under-five mortality, maternal mortality and fertility. These achievements are particularly impressive given Viet Nam’s current level of economic development. The result has been a considerable enhancement of human well-being with the Vietnamese people now enjoying longer and healthier lives. However, there remains much more to be done, to ensure equitable and sustainable development for all which is work that the UN is committed to carry out with the Government and People of Viet Nam.

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