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Speech by Ms. Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam at the Launching Ceremony of the new collaboration between GSO and UNFPA in Viet Nam

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Date: Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Event: Launching Ceremony of the new collaboration between GSO and UNFPA in Viet Nam

Venue: Pullman Ha Noi Hotel, 40 Cat Linh St., Hà Nội 

  • Mr. Nguyen Bich Lam, Director General of General Statistics Office;
  • Representatives of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, PCSA, VFF, General Statistics Office, and line line-ministries;
  • Representatives of international organizations, UN fellow colleagues and the media.
  • Good morning to you all.


It is a great pleasure to be here with you today for the launching of the project "Support Viet Nam agencies in providing and utilizing quality population and development data and evidence to develop and monitor socio-economic development policies, strategies and plans, and sustainable development goals in Viet Nam in the period 2017-2021". This project is co-implemented by the General Statistics Office (GSO) of MPI; the Parliamentary Committee for Social Affairs (PCSA), and the Viet Nam’s Fatherland Front Central Committee (VFF). Participating partners include the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), the Central Committee on Popularization and Education (CCPE) and the Viet Nam National Committee on Ageing (VNCA). UNFPA Viet Nam is with you to provide any technical assistance needed. In a wider context, this project is an integral part of the One Strategic Plan, jointly delivered by the Government of Viet Nam and United Nations for the period 2017-2021.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the General Statistics Office and the co-implementing and participating partners for your strong efforts efforts to work with UNFPA in the past year to develop and finalize the Concept Note, the Proposal on Investment Policy (PIP) and the Project Document, the three vital documents, so that we can come together and launch the project today.

Distinguished guests,

The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo to which Viet Nam is a signatory, was a milestone in the history of population and development, reproductive rights and women's rights to health.  The Conference called upon governments and development agencies to support for quality data for development with a wide range of researches and studies to inform public policy and improve programming strategies. Since ICPD, countries around the world, including Viet Nam, have invested a significant amount of resources for improving data provision and utilization for decision making. ICPD now forms part of the wide-range of development agendas, such as poverty reduction, advancement of women’s rights, or environment protection and meeting the challenges of climate change in many countries, including Viet Nam.

Data from the past Population and Housing Census and other population related surveys clearly show that Viet Nam is undergoing significant demographic changes: fertility rate has remained at the replacement level for more than a decade, declining mortality and increasing life expectancy, large scale migration process leading to significant and rapid changes in the population distribution between rural and urban areas; a skewed sex ratio at birth; the country has been in the period of demographic bonus with a large young population; while at the same time experiencing rapid population ageing. These demographic trends have critical impacts on the implementation of national, regional and local socio-economic development strategies and plans, and need to be integrated in the development of policies, strategies and plans at all level and sectors. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Now, with the global commitment on achieving the SDGs and leaving “no one behind” by 2030, the availability of reliable, consistent and comparable statistical information has become more crucial than ever; and plays a more critical role not only in monitoring progress but also in the assessment and realignment of plans and strategies.

Let me take this opportunity to highlight some messages as follows:

First, more efforts are needed to ensure that the importance of data and statistics is fully understood and appreciated by all stakeholders, and there must be commitment and leadership for investing in high-quality data and statistics, and making them accessible. Improved quality of statistics and disaggregated data (by age, sex, rural-urban, provincial and other characteristics) will lead to more effective decision-making and better development policies.

Second, population related information and projections continue to be the foundation to develop socio-economic development strategies and plans,  address inequality in policy advocacy on population and development, climate change, sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights. As the Population Law, Youth Law, Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control, Law on Gender Equality will be developed or revised in the coming years, updated and reliable information on population are thus very critical.

Third, Viet Nam has started its Action Plan for Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is very important for GSO, in collaboration with line ministries, to finalize SDGs statistics indicators, collect and generate these indicators, so that the country’s progress in realizing the 2030 Agenda can be monitored and evaluated.

Distinguished guests,

Within the framework of the Government of Viet Nam and UN One Strategic Plan (2017-2021), we hope this project, through multi-sectoral coordination, will play a key role in strengthening the capacity of GSO and other partners in collecting, analyzing, disseminating, and utilizing information/data on population, reproductive health and gender, contributing to the implementation and monitoring of the Plan of Action of SDGs.  Building the country's capacity to produce, disseminate and use reliable and accurate data for policy advice and development, for development planning and monitoring SDGs, is indeed a priority for UNFPA and other development partners. I look forward to working closely with all of you effectively.

Thank you very much for your attention and participation. I wish you all good health, happiness and success. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!