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Addressing young people's needs at joint MOHA-UN Conference

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Conference on Enhancing the Effectiveness of the Implementation of Vietnamese Youth Development Strategy 2011-2020HA NOI, 28 November 2012 - The Ministry of Home Affairs (MOHA) and the United Nations (UN) in Viet Nam organized a conference in Ha Noi to discuss a multi-sectoral response to the effective implementation of the Vietnamese Youth Development Strategy for 2011-2020.

The Strategy, which was officially approved by the Prime Minister in December 2011, provides a firm foundation for all sectors and ministries to jointly work on addressing young people's needs.

Different voices heard, from ministries to young people
The conference brought together nearly 200 participants including leaders from MOHA; Ministry of Education and Training; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs;  Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism; Ministry of Planning and Investment; Ministry of Information and Communications; Ministry of Industry and Trade; Ministry of National Defense; Ministry of Public Security; Government Office; Committee for Culture, Education, Youth and Children of the National Assembly; as well as from the Youth Union, young people’s representatives, UN agencies in Viet Nam, international and national development partners and the media.

Work proactively and implement effectively
Addressing the conference, Mr. Nguyen Tien Dinh, Vice Minister of MOHA said: "Ministries and sectors must proactively work with  MOHA to implement the tasks, proposals and projects assigned by the Prime Minister in the Youth Development Strategy 2011-2020". It is recommended that ministries, ministerial-level agencies, governmental agencies, provincial people's committees, and centrally-affiliated cities instruct the specialized agencies to effectively implement youth-related programmes at national and sub-national levels. It is important to conduct the annual  review and  report  the implementation progress of the strategy.

"Experience from nearly one year implementation of the Vietnamese Youth Development Strategy shows that  the active engagement of relevant ministries, sectors and localities as well as the support from development partners are both crucial to ensure the effective implementation of the Strategy. Therefore, I would like to call for the continued support from the development partners in order to implement Strategy more effectively,” he added.

Youth facing difficulties, but also opportunities: time for action is now!
According to the 2009 Census on Population and Housing, young people aged 10 to 30 years constitute approximately 40 per cent of the population of Viet Nam, representing an increasingly important proportion of the population. However, one third of young people still face barriers when trying to access reproductive health information or services. Young people also face difficulties in achieving the education they want, as well as experience challenges in finding suitable employment after they graduate.  

In her opening remarks, Ms. Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam, said: “We are living in a unique era. Viet Nam has entered what is known as the period of golden population, recording the highest proportion of young people ever in the country's history. Other countries in the region who have gone through the same transition, such as Malaysia and Singapore, have witnessed impressive developments. So Viet Nam has a unique opportunity, and the time for action is now".

Young people take the lead
Two youth representatives presented recommendations on young people's ideas for the post-2015 development agenda as well as their perspectives on a multi-sectoral response to young people's issues. These recommendations were developed by 200 youth representatives attended the National Youth Forum organized on 13 November 2012 in Ha Noi by the Youth Union and the UN in Viet Nam.

"I am very proud to represent Vietnamese young people to attend this important conference. I hope that other Vietnamese young people could have opportunities to participate in this dialogue, where our voices heard and our suggestions considered in decision-making and implementation of the programmes and strategies that affect our lives," said Mr. Pham Cong To, a student in Ha Noi.

Miss Pham Thi Ngoc Cham, student from the Academy of Journalism and Communications said "We would like to have more voices from young people, especially the most vulnerable, such as poor, ethnic minority, out-of-school young people to be heard in policy discussions. We are not only beneficiaries but also important contributors to the process of developing, implementing and monitoring the youth related policies and strategies".

Young people will have an unprecedented opportunity to develop recommendations for the post-2015 development agenda at a global youth forum organized in Bali, Indonesia from 4-6 December 2012, with over 900 youth leaders representing every country in the world, including Viet Nam.

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