Speech at the launch of project "Monitoring and reporting on implementation of the MDGs”

Jan 16, 2013

Speaker: Mr. Bakhodir Burkhanov, UNDP Deputy Country Director
Date:      16 January 2013, 8:30 am
Event:     Launch of Project “Monitoring and reporting on implementation of the MDGs”
Venue:    Grand Meeting Hall, MPI Office, No. 6B, Hoang Dieu Street, Ha Noi.

Mr. Nguyen The Phuong, Vice Minister, Minister of Planning and Investment

Mr. Tong Ninh Vien, Vice-Chairman, People’s Committee of Tra Vinh

Representatives from ministries and Government agencies

Development partners and UN colleagues

Distinguished guests:

I am delighted to be here today at the launch of the Project “Monitoring and Reporting on the Implementation of the Millennium Development Goals”.
First of all, I would like to express our sincere thanks to the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Department of Labor, Culture and Social Affairs, and other ministries and agencies for their contributions to the formulation of this project.

As was mentioned by Mr. Phuong, Viet Nam has made remarkable progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as well as Viet Nam’s Development Goals (VDGs), notably in reducing poverty and malnutrition, and in education and gender. Indeed, Viet Nam’s MDG achievements were recognized by the international community at the 2010 Global Summit on the MDGs, where Viet Nam ranked sixth in terms of both absolute and relative progress.

Challenges however remain in meeting the targets on environmental sustainability and HIV/AIDS. The progress is not equal among regions and population groups. Ethnic minority areas are lagging behind, and disparities between rich and poor households and communities are widening.

Furthermore, the impact of climate change, global economic downturn and domestic macroeconomic instability increase the risk of reversing the hard-earned progress. Children, women, non-registered migrants and the near-poor in disadvantaged areas are at a much higher risk. Shocks such as natural disasters, or economic or health related events, could push them back into poverty.

Against this background, UN has made a commitment to the Government to continue its support for strengthening national capacity for MDG monitoring and reporting. This UNDP project aims to institutionalize and mainstream MDG monitoring and reporting to examine socio-economic development and implementation of SEDP. The project is part of the United Nations One Plan 2012-2016; it aims to support coherent UN efforts in this important area jointly with other UN organizations and national and international partners.

As we launch this initiative, I would like to highlight a few key considerations that are critical to the project’s success:

Firstly, progress against MDGs/VDGs that is regularly examined and reported as part of an institutional monitoring process would provide much needed evidence on how social development policies in Viet Nam are working. Such monitoring and reporting must be inclusive and transparent, involving state institutions as well as civil society, professional and mass organizations. Stakeholder contributions both in terms of providing data for the national MDG reports and active participation in policy consultations would be key to ensuring the quality of the reports and their impact on policy making and implementation.
Secondly, as Viet Nam reaches Middle Income Country status, the task of addressing remaining MDG gaps becomes more nuanced. Strategies that were successful previously might not work as well now. Other middle income countries have been referring to it as “challenge of the last mile”. Tackling this challenge in the coming years will require tailored and multisectoral approaches backed by in-depth analysis of factors contributing to or limiting the MDG progress. Such analysis is particularly important to pinpoint the drivers of disparities among regions and population groups.

Thirdly, in today’s globalized world, international integration and south-south cooperation gain further prominence. The project will facilitate Viet Nam’s exchange of experiences with other developing countries to share lessons from Viet Nam and to study proven MDG acceleration strategies and development solutions that exist elsewhere.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

The Government has taken a number of measures across various sectors to intensify socio-economic development and fill the remaining MDG gaps. Resolution 80 and the National Target Programme for Sustainable Poverty Reduction focusing, among others, on disadvantaged mountainous and ethnic minority communes, will go a long way towards addressing these challenges. The enthusiastic support UNDP has been receiving from the Ministry of Planning and Investment and other partner institutions is a strong indication of the government’s commitment to implementing the project and maximizing project results. I would like to reaffirm our readiness to further support the national efforts to ensure that development benefits all Vietnamese – men, women and children – in an equitable and sustainable manner.

The launch of this project coincides with an ongoing effort in Viet Nam and across the globe to consult people of different income, gender and age groups in order to define the post-2015 development agenda. The project we are launching today will provide an excellent opportunity for Viet Nam to reflect on its progress on the MDGs and to contribute to the global discourse on the future where all people can enjoy a life of prosperity, equity and dignity.

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