HCM National Political Academy discussed Millennium Development Goals
Ha Noi - The Ho Chi Minh National Political Academy and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) held today a workshop to discuss the links between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the socio-economic policy and planning process in Viet Nam.
The workshop brought together around 70 political science professors and researchers of the Academy, a national center for training senior leaders and managers of the Party and Government. The meeting aimed at raising awareness of the implications of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for Viet Nam and what is expected of both policy-makers and researchers in order to attain them.
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 2000. The MDGs represent a consensus by world leaders on global development priorities and goals to the year 2015.
UNDP and the Academy have set up a taskforce to strengthen the Academy’s capacity in curriculum development and research to meet the MDGs and Viet Nam’s own national development goals.
Dr. Nguyen Van Sau Vice President of the Academy said the MDGs lie at the heart of Viet Nam’s development vision which places people at the centre of the country progress. “Given its mandate, the Academy is in a key position to develop the knowledge base and capacity of government bodies and senior policy-makers at both central and local levels to meet the MDGs,” he said.
Mr. Jordan Ryan, UNDP Resident Representative said: “The meeting made real progress towards identifying tangible ways that political scientists can help support the achievement of the MDGs in a qualitative and country specific way through responsive training and research activities of the Academy.” He added: “The Academy has a unique opportunity to focus on promoting good governance through providing, to senior government officials and policy-makers throughout the country, the most relevant and timely information and learning opportunities. Viet Nam needs to take advantage of knowledge from all over the world.”
According to Mr. Ryan, sustained poverty reduction requires equitable growth but it also requires that poor people participate fully in making the decisions that affect their lives. Ryan noted: “The best way to achieve the MDGs in a manner consistent with human development, is by building strong and deep forms of democratic governance at all levels of society.”
Viet Nam’s decentralization process over the past decade has been characterized by the expansion of people’s participation and public officials’ accountability at the local level, especially in rural areas where the majority of Vietnamese live. The 1998 Grassroots Democracy Decree, for example, defines areas of policy where people need to be kept informed and be given opportunities to express their ideas and concerns, including on administrative procedures and budget planning and spending. The Decree also outlines areas where local people should discuss and comment on government decisions and draft laws before they are finalized.
UNDP hopes to work with the Academy to find effective means to better improve development policies that empower people to take part in decisions that affect their lives.