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UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún delivers balanced package of decisions

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Tehuacan Cuicatlan_Oaxaca_Mexico
Natural areas like Tehuacan Cuicatlan Biosphere Reserve in Oaxaca, Mexico, are endangered by climate change
Ha Noi, 20 December 2010 – The UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún, Mexico, ended with the adoption of a balanced package of decisions that sets all governments more firmly on the path towards a low-emissions future and supports enhanced action on climate change in the developing world. The package, dubbed the ‘Cancún Agreements’, was welcomed to loud and prolonged applause in the final plenary. The Government of Viet Nam has hailed the Cancún Agreements as an important step forward.

“Cancún has done its job. The beacon of hope has been reignited and faith in the multilateral climate change process to deliver results has been restored,” said UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres at the close of the conference.

Nations launched a set of initiatives and institutions to protect the poor and the vulnerable from climate change and to deploy the money and technology that developing countries need to plan and build their own sustainable futures. And they agreed to launch concrete action to preserve forests in developing nations.

They also agreed that countries need to work to stay below a two degree Celcius mean global temperature rise and set a clear timetable for review, to ensure that global action is adequate to meet the emerging reality of climate change. However, critics point out that the ‘below two degree’ target is too weak and that the Cancún Agreements are only one step because current emission reduction commitments fall well short of what is needed, even for the two degree target.

COP16_LogoAt the conference, the Vietnamese delegation included officials from the ministries of natural resources and environment, foreign affairs, agriculture and rural development, and planning and investment. The delegation worked as a member of the ‘Group of 77 and China’ and made interventions on a number of different topics.

There will be a critical role to play for the UN and other multilateral organizations in designing the new institutions and implementing the agreements, particularly in terms of building and strengthening the wide range of capacities that are needed in developing countries.

More specific elements of the Cancún Agreements include:

  • Industrialised country targets are officially recognised under the multilateral process and these countries are to develop low-carbon development plans and strategies and assess how best to meet them.
  • Developing country actions to reduce emissions are officially recognised under the multilateral process. A registry is to be set up to record and match developing country mitigation actions to finance and technology support from industrialised countries.
  • The Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanisms has been strengthened to drive more investments and technology into environmentally sound and sustainable emission reduction projects in the developing world.
  • A total of US$30 billion in fast start finance from industrialised countries to support climate action in the developing world up to 2012 and the intention to raise US$100 billion annually from 2020 is included in the decisions. Also, a process to design a Green Climate Fund is established.
  • Governments agreed to boost action to curb emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries with technological and financial support – establishing a formal REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) mechanism. REDD is important for Viet Nam because it could help improve the quality of Viet Nam’s forests, as well as strengthen the livelihoods of people and communities who are dependent on forests.

For more on the climate change conference, see the UNFCC website:





1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.


Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.

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