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‘WE ARE ABLE’ (Achieving Better Living and Education) – a new UNESCO initiative puts the voices of Ethnic Minority girls and women first

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Green One UN House, Hanoi, 25 April 2019 - Together with its strategic partners, the Ministry of Education and Training and CJ Group (Republic of Korea), UNESCO announces the inception of 'We Are Able', a new three-year project, funded by the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girls' Right to Education with financial support from CJ Group. The project aims to improve access and retention of ethnic minority children, especially girls in lower secondary school, and to improve employment opportunities for ethnic minority girls and women.

Mr. Kamal Malhotra, United Nations Resident Coordinator, highlights the issue of limited access to education among ethnic minority children, especially girls:

"The report also reveals that ethnic minority children have limited access to education. The percentages of out-of-school children of primary and lower secondary school going ages for the Kinh group were 2 per cent and 6 per cent respectively, while those for some ethnic minority groups were around 10 per cent and 25 per cent respectively. The gender gap in the percentage of out-of-school children was very small at the national level. However, girls in some ethnic minority groups were less likely to go to primary and lower secondary school than boys."

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Following the successful completion of the project 'Gender Equality and Girls' Education Initiative in Viet Nam', working closely with national and local authorities, UNESCO will focus its new efforts on ethnic minorities women and girls, helping them to ensure equal access to quality education and employment opportunities within a safe and friendly environment, free from violence and abuse.

Designed in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Training and the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, the project will support the implementation of the Education Development Strategic Plan 2011-2020, the Action Plan for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 and the National Strategy concerning Ethnic Minority Affairs until 2020.


Under the motto 'Achieving Better Living and Education', the project will engage with 16,000 persons, including ethnic minority school students, teachers, principals, education officials, parents and community members in three provinces: Ha Giang, Ninh Thuan and Soc Trang.

The project also reflects the continued commitment of CJ Group, with whom UNESCO collaborates globally in support of girls' education, as well as the personal engagement of the Executive Vice President of Global CSV, Ms. Heekyung Jo Min, who traveled to Ha Giang province in March 2019 to better understand the challenges faced by local populations. The partnership between CJ Group and UNESCO is based on a shared understanding that development solutions must take a multidimensional approach to address challenges effectively and sustainably.

Ms. Heekyung Jo Min states:

"Through this project, we hope ethnic minority girls can grow as respectable members of Vietnamese society with competence, skills, and self-esteem. For this, in addition to giving financial support, we plan to actively hold campaigns that promote the importance of girls' education by utilizing the cultural platform of CJ Group."


The project has four main areas of focus:

  1. enhancing the understanding on the importance of girls' education by allowing youth, especially young women, to demonstrate how education can positively influence their lives and the lives of their families and communities;
  2. fostering a safe and healthy educational environment by enhancing knowledge of gender-based violence in schools and strengthening teachers' capacities on gender-responsive school counselling;
  3. improving employment opportunities for girls and young women through targeted career orientation programmes, training on income generation and facilitating access to the labor market; and
  4. supporting ethnic minority youth to overcome stereotypes and enhance understanding with their peers – other Vietnamese youth – across the country.

Mr. Michael Croft, UNESCO Representative to Viet Nam, stresses:

"UNESCO is committed to respecting the traditional cultures of ethnic minority groups, working together with them and local and national authorities to support ethnic minority youth, especially women and girls, to give voice to their dreams, aspirations and hope for the future. The "We Are Able" slogan says it all; ethnic minorities in Viet Nam are indeed able to contribute to the amazing transformation taking place in this country – and we look forward to hearing what they have to say."


For further information, please contact:

  • Ms. Phan Minh Chau, Education Project Officer, at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.





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


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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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