Viet Nam and UNDP celebrate 25 productive years of cooperation

24 Sep 2003

Ha Noi - Viet Nam and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) celebrated the 25th anniversary of their partnership in Ha Noi this morning.

The meeting opened with the reading of a message from the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan. In his message the Secretary-General noted: "Today Viet Nam is a highly committed and constructive partner in our work to reach the Millennium Development Goals. As Viet Nam continues its inspiring journey towards poverty reduction and human development, may the partnership between the nation and the people of Viet Nam and the United Nations keep growing ever stronger for many decades to come".

In his opening address at the anniversary celebration, Deputy Prime Minister Mr Vu Khoan recognised the assistance and collaboration of international partners in support of Viet Nam-UNDP development cooperation activities over time. "UNDP assistance in the past 25 years has been in line with Viet Nam’s socio-economic development priorities, effectively used and brought about many practical benefits," said Mr Vu Khoan. "The publication on 25 years of Viet Nam - UNDP partnership, distributed at the anniversary celebration, presents an accurate finding that the national ownership was most fundamental to the success of this partnership; this spirit must be reflected in the national ownership of the development of the country’s own socio-economic development strategies as well as of the formulation and implementation of international cooperation programmes".

Mr. Zéphirin Diabré, UN Under-Secretary General/ UNDP Associate Administrator from New York UN headquarters, making his first official visit to Viet Nam to coincide with the anniversary event, spoke of UNDP’s global role and its collaboration with Viet Nam as the country pursues a path of growth and international integration. "Speaking as a former Minister of Finance who has tried to promote reform in my own country, Burkina Faso, the pace of positive change in Viet Nam has been truly remarkable. UNDP feels privileged to have been a close and trusted partner throughout the process", he said.

Vice Minister of Planning and Investment Truong Van Doan, spoke of the future of Viet Nam’s economic reform agenda and the major challenges for the country in the coming years. He highlighted the success of Official Development Assistance in this process.

The UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam, Mr Jordan Ryan, shared lessons from UNDP's role and initiatives over the past years. Ryan said, "Viet Nam and UNDP enjoy a vibrant development partnership which will be richer through continued emphasis on the principles of human development and expanded choices for all." Ryan added, "As Viet Nam tackles issues of inequality and access, UNDP stands ready to support the nation’s effort to make the development process increasingly transparent and accountable ."

Represented at the anniversary fete were Government co-ordinating agencies from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Finance and Office of the Government as well as from several other ministries and representatives from provinces, and cities including Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang and Hai Phong. Major bilateral and multilateral donor partners who work closely with UNDP in Viet Nam joined in the celebration.

Viet Nam has accomplished much on the road to development in the 25 years of Viet Nam-UNDP cooperation. The UNDP started operating in Viet Nam as early as 1976 and officially opened its representative office in Ha Noi in 1978. At that time besides the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, only Sweden, Finland, and several other United Nations agencies were present here. UNDP’s early arrival and its role within the worldwide United Nations system made it one of the most important vehicles for Viet Nam to obtain resources and international experience and expertise much needed at that time. These past 25 years have seen Viet Nam rise to the challenge of three great transitions: from a period of war to one of peace, the change from central planning to a socialist-based market economy, and becoming an active member of a globalized world.

A high-level panel debated Viet Nam’s socio-economic and governance reform agenda and the role of development cooperation in achieving it. Among the panel participants were: Le Dang Doanh, Senior Economic Adviser to the Minister of Planning and Investment; Mai Quoc Binh, Vice-Chair HCM People’s Committee; Mme Pham Chi Lan, member of the Prime Minister’s Research Group and Robert Glofcheski, Chief Resident Economist, UNDP/Viet Nam.

Contact Information

Mr Dang Huu Cu, Public Information Unit, Tel: (84 4) 942 1495 Ext.179