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Statement by Mr Kamal Malhotra United Nations Resident Coordinator at the One Strategic Plan 2017-2021 Signing Ceremony

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Date: July 5, 2017
Event: One Strategic Plan 2017-2021 Signing Ceremony
Venue: Ministry of Planning and Investment, 6B Hoang Dieu St., Ba Dinh, Hanoi, Vietnam

karrmal manhotra_speech

  • Excellency Nguyen Chi Dzung, Minister of Planning and Investment;
  • Excellencies, Ambassadors;
  • Distinguished participants from Government, Development and civil society partners;
  • Members of the UN Country Team and other colleagues from the UN;
  • Ladies and gentlemen;

I am deeply honoured and delighted to welcome you on behalf of the UN Country Team in Viet Nam to this signing ceremony for the One Strategic Plan 2017 – 2021 which represents a new and renewed partnership between the UN and the Government of Viet Nam.

Two previous generations of One Plans have been agreed and signed at this same venue but today's event is genuine testimony to the fact that the Delivering as One (DaO) Initiative in Viet Nam has matured and been elevated to a new strategic level since the first-generation strategy was conceptualized eleven years ago in 2006.

The One Strategic Plan (OSP) development process was a vivid example of how the UN and government partnership has evolved to a stage where we are now truly equal development partners. The government has moved from being an aid recipient to co-leading the OSP formulation and jointly owning this key and strategic partnership document. I would like to acknowledge the Government's efforts, led by MPI as the coordinating agency, in taking national ownership and working towards Vietnam's national development priorities. In my meeting with the Director General of FERD/MPI, Mr. Khanh in May, we agreed to the formation of a Joint Working Group to explore additional resource mobilization for the OSP, including through government co-financing. The OSP has an ambitious resource envelope of USD 423 million over the five-year period 2017-2021, of which 40% has been mobilized so far.

The One Strategic Plan is SDG-centric and based on the three principles of inclusion, equity and sustainability. It echoes the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goal theme of leaving no one behind. It represents the programmatic framework for 14 resident and 4 non-resident UN agencies working in Viet Nam, fully responds to Viet Nam's Lower Middle Income country development context and at the same time takes into account Viet Nam's broader regional and global aspirations. The OSP benefited from extensive consultation with the Government, development partners and other stakeholders. I wish to thank all stakeholders who contributed to its formulation process and substantive content.

On this occasion, I would also like to thank all of you and some other UN and other colleagues who are not here today for your and their considerable efforts, time and commitment as well as for your and their comments and feedback into both the formulation process and substance and content of the document. We look forward to your and their continued support, partnership and further engagement in the implementation of this OSP over the next five years.

This partnership document is structured around four focus areas, shaped by the central themes of the SDGs (People, Planet, Prosperity and Peace) and emphasizes nine related outcomes. Additionally, five critical cross-cutting themes have been identified: Gender Equality; Human Rights; Participation; Data for Development; and Partnership and Innovation. Through the new OSP, the UN will continue to build on its comparative advantages in providing Viet Nam with integrated solutions to complex multidimensional development challenges by drawing on collective regional and global knowledge; supporting a normative voice on human rights and freedom of speech and association, prioritizing equity and citizen-centered reforms; and strengthening South-South cooperation.

Although the implementation of the OSP has been delayed as a result of the delay in OSP signing, I am confident that with the continued partnership and cooperation of the Government, our developments partners and key stakeholders, and the firm commitment of the UN Country Team, we will be able to expedite the implementation of the OSP and contribute significantly to Viet Nam's development progress.

To help facilitate this, I call on the Government's support to enable the simplification and harmonization of business management processes to facilitate effective implementation for efficient and quality programmatic results.

I am happy today to reaffirm the UN's commitment to Viet Nam's implementation of the global Blueprint for Action of which Viet Nam is a part – this is an initiative of the UNSG's Special Representatives on EL Nino and Climate Change, which the Government of Viet Nam recently accepted to join as one of ten global pilot countries.

2017 also marks 40 years of the UN – Viet Nam partnership and as we celebrate our joint achievements and successes over the last four decades, we must note that these successes and achievements raise ambitious expectations for the future. The Government's aspiration to become an upper middle-income country requires concerted efforts in governance including human rights - Goal 16 of the SDGs - as well as achievement of the other SDGs through the Government's National Action Plan on the SDGs which will soon be launched. Through the continued support of all partners represented in this room today, I am confident that these expectations will bear fruit for the benefit of Viet Nam and its people.

Viet Nam is in the forefront of UN reform as it was not only one of the first amongst the original pilots but is still one of the top performing countries of the Delivering as One (DaO) UN Initiative, both programmatically and operationally. Vietnam will continue to be looked upon as a premier learning and experimenting hub on DaO with important lessons to be shared given the decade long experience in DaO and new momentum focused on new innovations to be implemented before these are also shared with other countries around the world. Globally, at least 57 countries have now taken the DaO road, with Viet Nam still in the forefront.

I would like to reiterate my personal commitment to taking the success of the One UN Initiative in Vietnam to the next stage – this has implications well beyond Viet Nam and will also be key for UN reform to succeed globally. I also commit to providing leadership to ensure that the 18 UN agencies which are partners in the One Strategic Plan 2017-2021 contribute as best as we can together to Vietnam's future development.

Allow me to conclude by emphasizing that this week is an unique and very special week for the UN in the Agenda 2030 context. The Government is going to launch Viet Nam's National Action Plan for implementation of the 2030 Agenda at a workshop chaired by H.E, DPM Vu Duc Dam on 7 July. I am very honoured to have been invited to deliver the UN's remarks there which reaffirm the UN's readiness to partner with the Government of Viet Nam and other stakeholders in supporting Viet Nam's efforts in implementing the Action Plan and realizing the SDGs. And now, today, in the same week, I am signing the OSP 2017-2021 to put the UN's commitment in Viet Nam on the SDGs into action!

I would like to thank all of you for your cooperation and continued support and wish you all the very best of health, happiness and success!

Xin cam on.