Speech at consultation workshop on the draft MDGR 2013

Sep 17, 2013

Speaker: Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Country Director
Date:       17 September 2013, 8:30 am – 14:00pm
Event:    Consultation Workshop on the draft MDGR2013
Venue:    Hilton Hotel. No.1 Le Thanh Ton Street, Hoan Kiem, Ha Noi

Mr. Nguyễn Thế Phương, Vice Minister, Ministry of Planning and Investment,
Mr. Trần Quốc Phương, Mr. Trần Quốc Phương, Deputy Director, Department of social and culture affairs, MPI,
Representatives from Government ministries and agencies
Development partners, UN colleagues, Distinguished guests:

It is my pleasure to co-chair today’s consultation workshop with Vice Minister Thế Phương. Let me express my sincere thanks to the Ministry of Planning & Investment (MPI) for continuing the good practice of participatory and open consultation in developing the national MDG report. The MDGR 2013 preparation is even more advanced than the previous MDG reports in that it builds on the work done by different partners, including the 2012 report on implementation of Health MDGs by the Ministry of Health in coordination with WHO, UNFPA, and UNICEF. The report also uses a variety of data sources including also non-government data to enrich and reinforce analysis and findings.

The report highlights Viet Nam’s significant achievements in the implementation of MDGs including spectacular achievement of MDG1, MDG2, and MDG3 on poverty, education, and gender equality, and high possibility to reach MDG 4 and MDG 5 on child and maternal health before 2015. Among Viet Nam’s remarkable achievements are to more than halve to halve the poverty rate and achieving near universal primary education.

Nevertheless, the report also points out remaining gaps and challenges to fully meeting the MDGs by 2015.  Despite progress, the MDGs on HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability, and global partnership are still lagging behind. Inequality in the progress on all MDGs among regions and population groups, especially ethnic minorities, is a prominent issue and poses great risk for the sustainability of Viet Nam’s achievement, as vulnerability remains high also for those living above the poverty line. New phenomena, New forms of poverty are emerging in urban areas and among the households of migrant-workers and workers in informal sectors as a result of economic slow-down and macro-economic instability. In addition, climate change poses a threat to socio-economic activities and development gains.

As we look forward to the presentation of the report by MPI, let me take this opportunity to suggest how this report could help the country move forward in deepening MDG achievement and ensuring sustainable, socio-economic growth:

First, the process of preparation of this report shed lights on data gaps, quality, availability and accessibility for monitoring MDGs/VDGs and other social development goals. It is important to continue integrating measurable targets and indicators into socio-economic development planning and monitoring, as required in the Prime Minister’s recent directive on development of 2014 SEDPs at the central, local and sectoral levels. Implementation of the PM’s Directive will provide the basis for enhanced and concerted efforts in improving quality and availability of data.  Strengthening data accessibility and dissemination such as through an MDG database will be central for the effective tracking of MDG progress.

Secondly, gaps and challenges pointed out in the report suggest for Viet Nam to focus and prioritize its efforts and resources on lagging MDGs and areas or population groups. Concrete action plans to catch up and accelerate MDG progress need to be developed and integrated into the planning frameworks at all levels including into sector-level and decentralized plans for implementation and monitoring. The MDG Acceleration Framework (MAF) as a methodological tool developed with support of the UN can help identify prioritized areas/groups, gaps and bottlenecks toward achieving MDG(s), and supports the formulation of clear targets, actions and timetable as effective tools to help Viet Nam accelerate progress on MDGs by 2015 and beyond.

Third, with only two years to the 2015 deadline, it is the time for the UN member states to develop the new, post 2015 development goals that will reflect priorities at both global, country and local community levels. The recent Viet Nam Post-2015 consultations led by the UN in cooperation with the government/ MPI identified key areas for the Post-2015 development agenda including addressing inequality, reducing vulnerability and enhancing social inclusion, good governance and participation, addressing demographic shift, and ensuring universal access to quality and affordable health care quality employment education and vocational training, and having cleaner environment and greener production and consumption. The post-2015 consultations together with the 2013 MDG Report provide valuable information for Viet Nam to identify its post-2015 development priorities, which, in their turns, could contribute to the formulation of the country’s next Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2016-2020 as well as serve as Viet Nam’s contribution to the exercise of defining the post 2015 Global Development Agenda.
Once again, I very much welcome today’s consultation on draft National MDG Report; we look forward to constructive comments and inputs from national and international partners to help enhancing the final report quality.