Mdme President of the Federative Republic of Brazil
Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan at the plenary session of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 21 2012 - Photo: VGP
Mr. Secretary General of the United Nations
Heads of delegations,
Ladies and gentlemen,
On behalf of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Government and people of the Federative Republic of Brazil as well as to the UN for the warm hospitality and careful preparation for this UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
Sustainable development is an inevitable trend for global development. As in other countries in the world, the Government of Viet Nam considers sustainable development as the consistent goal in our current and future national development and thus has pursued Agenda 21 as well as other national development strategies. Thanks to appropriate policies and enormous efforts by the Government and people of Viet Nam, as well as the support and cooperation of the international community, including the UN, Viet Nam has been able to record significant achievements in socio-economic development. In the past 20 years Viet Nam’s average annual GDP growth was 7.4%. In 1992 GDP per capita was approximately only 150 USD, in 2011 it was 1300 USD. The poverty rate has been reduced from 58% in 1993 down to 11.8% in 2011. We have achieved universalization of primary school in 2000, of secondary school in 2010, and are implementing universalization of kindergarten for age-5 children with expected completion by 2015. Last year, 92% of families had access to clean water, 95% of farmer households had electricity and 63% of the population had health insurance. The average life expectancy is nearly 74. The ratio of male/female college students is 51%/49%. According to the Happy Planet Index published by the New Economic Foundation – a NGO based in the UK - on June 14, 2012, Vietnam ranked second out of 151 countries and territories.
This reality of Viet Nam can be a lesson that although labor productivity may not be high (GDP per capita of under 1000 USD) it is still possible to implement sustainable development policies successfully.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The world is currently facing major challenges such as financial, energy and food crises, natural disasters and increasing impacts of climate change which are the main barriers to sustainable development.
On behalf of the Government of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, I would like to propose the following three Rio+20 activities in order to implement the Rio+20 Declaration on “The Future We Want.”
First, the UN should assemble a new set of sustainable development goals toward 2020 and 2030 and establish a monitoring and assessment mechanism for sustainable development goals. Sustainable development goals should be of a universal nature, applicable to all countries, yet allowing for different approaches suited to the specific conditions of each country, but showcasing the examples set and responsibilities taken by highly-developed countries.
Second, green economy is an advanced strategy for the economic and environmental component of the 3-pillar concept of sustainable development 20 years after Rio de Janeiro 1992. With more emphasis and focus placed on reduction of energy and resource consumption, on utilization and faster use of renewable energies, on regional coordination and cooperation in river wateruse and slowing down climate change as well as reducing its negative impacts and with respect to Vietnam’s lesson on sustainable development policy at low national income, a green economy today is not an option but a must for every country, every nation while at the same time, the timeline and the range of activities is each country’s own choice. We would suggest that in every region in the world such as East Asia, Southeast Asia, North and South America, Regional Centers for Green Economy should be established, as appropriate. These Centers would monitor the key indicators of green economy of all countries in the region, provide consulting services for policy formulation and best practices for countries, organizing bi-annual workshops on Green Economy and help the UN prepare and publish bi-annual World Reports on Green Economy and organize World Conferences on Green Economy and Sustainable Development.
For Southeast Asia, Vietnam is ready to work with ASEAN countries and the UN to set up the ASEAN Regional Center for Green Economy in Vietnam and to share 50% of the operational costs of this Center. The UN could establish a UN Center for Green Economy as the government of Korea has volunteered, to support and coordinate the Regional Centers for Green Economy.
Third, as the consequence of global CO2 emission and global warming, rising sea levels is today already a real threat for many countries and islands, most of whom are developing countries with limited resources, knowledge and forecasting capacities. In the Mekong River delta of Vietnam, from which every year 6 million tons of rice are exported to countries over the world, salt water is penetrating deeper and deeper into our rice fields. Many islands in the Pacific region are already shrinking every year. We therefore call the UN to establish an UN Network and an UN Programme to quickly and effectively deal with rising sea levels, combining the knowledge, technology and the resources of the developed and developing countries to tackle this global issue. Vietnam would like to be an active member of those UN Networks.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Government of Viet Nam reaffirms its commitments to actively take part in these global efforts led by the UN for our sustainable future we want.
Thank you for your attention./.