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Viet Nam needs new approaches to fight corruption

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An op-ed by Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam as published in Viet Week on 7 December 2012.

Pratibha MehtaBy combating corruption we help to further economic growth, build better public services, foster equality and provide more equal opportunities for all of Viet Nam’s citizens.On 9 December, International Anti-Corruption Day is marked around the world and commitments to crack down on corruption are renewed. The Day is also an important reminder of the tremendous human cost of corruption, which affects everyone, with the poor suffering the most.  

When families have to pay bribes to get medical care, or when parents have to bribe to get their children enrolled in school, it is the poorest who can least afford to pay and suffer the most. When people have to pay to get a job in the public sector, it is not the best and brightest who get the job. When bribes become common practice and part of daily interactions, trust and confidence in the public sector gets eroded.


Ending AIDS - Viet Nam’s Progress and Opportunities

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Pratibha MehtaPratibha Mehta: "local action and focused interventions needed"As published in Viet Week on 30 November 2012.

World AIDS Day was first observed in 1988 to mobilize the world against a rapidly spreading virus without effective treatment or cure. Twenty-four yearslater, the largest-ever global disease response has achieved significant results.

According to a new report from UNAIDS, more than eight million people living with HIV are being treated with antiretroviral therapy, there were more than 500,000 fewer AIDS-related deaths in 2011 than in 2005, and 25 countries have seen a 50% or greater drop in new HIV infections since 2001.


Land should not be revoked for private investor projects: UNDP expert

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As published in Dan Tri News on 20 November 2012

datdai0211121-c7a4fUNDP Policy Advisor for Rule of Law and Access to Justice, Nicholas Booth One of weaknesses of Vietnam’s Land Law is the government's involvement revoking land for private investor projects, said UNDP Policy Advisor for Rule of Law and Access to Justice, Nicholas Booth.

“The State should only confiscate land for public projects such as new infrastructure works, but not for the benefit of private investors,” he added, noting that most foreign countries only withdraw land for issues related to national interests such as those stipulated in the Vietnamese 1992 Constitution.  

The expert also emphasised that Vietnam’s current Land Law is not fair to farmers. They are allowed to hire land for agricultural development for just 20 years; meanwhile, urban residents can use their land for an unlimited time. Many farmers are banned from changing the use of their land.


Gender imbalance threatens crisis

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As published in Viet Nam News on 5 November 2012

tr1b nhoFemale quadruplets were born at HCM City's Tu Du Hospital last June. Viet Nam is facing a grave gender imbalance due to parents' cultural preference for the birth of boys. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong VyHA NOI (VNS)— About 4 million Vietnamese males under the age of 50 or 12 per cent of the population might have difficulty finding wives over the next 37 years if the country fails to take steps to curb the increasing gender imbalance.

The prediction was announced by Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Viet Tien at a national conference on gender imbalance at birth, held in Ha Noi on Saturday.
Tien said one of target groups for education was the elderly who should be advised not to put pressure on their children to have sons.

The General Office for Population Family Planning said the birth ratio of boys to girls in Viet Nam had increased from 110/100 only six years ago to 112.3/100 at present.

The rate was forecast to climb to 125/100 by 2020 unless urgent measures were taken.


Vietnam continues with very active role within UN

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As published in on 12 October 2012

20121012104326 go2VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam continues to play a very active role within the United Nations, Ms Pratibha Mehta, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam has said in a recent exclusive interview with the Vietnam News Agency.

The interview occasioned the 67th founding anniversary of the UN and the 35th anniversary of Vietnam-UN partnership.

Talking about the progress of the partnership between Vietnam and the UN over more than three decades, the UN Resident Coordinator said: “The UN has a long history as a key partner in Vietnam’s development, ever since Vietnam became the 149th member state of the UN on September 20, 1977.

In the early years of hardship and post-war reconstruction, UN agencies were on the ground providing assistance to Vietnam’s rebuilding efforts. As the ‘doi moi’ reforms began to take hold, the UN provided a gateway, connecting Vietnam with international expertise, knowledge and technical assistance and supported the country’s development progress – thereby improving the lives of millions of Vietnamese.


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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.