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A person holds up a rainbow flag displaying the words "Viet Pride" as people decorated with balloons prepare to take part in Vietnam's first ever gay pride parade on a road in Hanoi on August 5, 2012. A person holds up a rainbow flag displaying the words "Viet Pride" as people decorated with balloons prepare to take part in Vietnam's first ever gay pride parade on a road in Hanoi on August 5, 2012. As published in Thanh Nien News on Friday, August 02, 2013 04:45:00

Can you imagine what it would be like to be afraid of pubic shame, of bullying or violence simply for being yourself?

Or what it would feel like to be to be kicked out of school, to lose the love of your family, or to be thought to be "abnormal" just because you are different?

Yet for millions of people that is still an everyday reality.

As Viet Nam celebrates Viet Pride 2013 this weekend, along with those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender I would once again like to share the words of our Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon:

"You are not alone. Your struggle to end violence and discrimination is a shared struggle".

On 26 July 2013 the UN launched 'Free& Equal', a global campaign to raise awareness of homophobic violence and discrimination, and to promote greater respect for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people everywhere.

Equality and freedom are enshrined in the Constitution of Viet Nam. Article 3 reads, "the State ensures and constantly fosters the people's rights as masters in all spheres, realizes the targets of building a prosperous life for its people, a strong country and an equitable, democratic and civilized society, ensuring the wellbeing, freedom and happiness of all citizens..."

Viet Nam is one of the few countries in the region not to criminalize homosexuality, and is actively , engaging with the LGBT community to discuss the everyday challenges and barriers they still face. The Government is open to discussion on how LGBT issues relate to current marriage and family law. Following civil society engagement with the Vietnamese media, clear attempts are being made to portray sexual diversity positively.

Yet, being , lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender in Viet Nam is still very challenging.

A recent UN supported national dialogue revealed that most parents still find it difficult to accept their children's sexual orientation, as it is seen to be different from the 'norm'. Lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people are physically and mentally assaulted and isolated at schools; are considered to be 'social evils' in the work place; and are discriminated against in healthcare, sometimes being subjected to procedures to try to 'cure' them.

While the law doesn't criminalize homosexuality, LGBT people are not protected when their rights are violated.

Together we must challenge negative stereotypes, and dispel toxic myths. We have to help people understand why we must stand up against homophobic and transphobic violence and discrimination.

Discrimination is unacceptable on any basis. For everyone to be free and equal, there can be no exceptions.

This week lets celebrate and embrace difference with open-mindedness and understanding.

The United Nations has one simple message to the millions of LGBT people around the world:

You are not alone.

Together we will build a world that is free and equal.

Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam

Spotlight

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WORLD AIDS DAY MESSAGE 2017

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.


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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


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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.


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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


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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.