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Empowering communities through tourism in central Viet Nam

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shutterstock 77308795Destinations like Hoi An, Hue and My Son frequently appear on the bucket list of some of the world's most discerning tourists, but thanks to technical support from two specialized UN agencies, tourism is making a real and lasting impact in local people's lives.

In 2015, ILO and UNESCO worked together to help formalize the tourism value chain by helping to establish a number of community cooperatives. By providing services that meet local demands and building on existing local capacities in Hoi An, My Son and Hue, valuable jobs have been created and local people are already benefiting from improved livelihoods. This innovative approach is helping to drive sustainable economic development in communities and surrounding areas.

Nguyen Thi Nam, a sedge mat-weaving artisan who recently joined and became an active member of the Triem Tay Community Tourism Cooperative, has benefited greatly as a result of UNESCO support over the last year. She believed that there has been a radical change in her community, particularly in the way people get together to agree on the actions needed to improve the services they provide.

Too often in the past, local people have been unable to meet the high employment standards required by resorts and other tourism services. However, this initiative has made it possible for local communities to get together to maximize their collective community potential. Some have got involved in providing entertainment, interpretation services or private tour guiding, while others are using their motorbikes to offer transportation. As a result, jobs are created and local livelihoods benefit from higher standards of living. This is helping to drive sustainable economic development in the community and surrounding areas.

UN-HABITAT and several local NGOs have joined forces with ILO and UNESCO to leverage support to build partnerships with community business alliances. Both domestic and international academic institutions are now providing support in areas of development planning, handicrafts design and quality control.

Since taking part in the cooperative, Nam is now engaging with other members and is getting to know much more about her neighbours.

Following years of centralized planning, with the joint UN support, Viet Nam is making a shift towards a new paradigm of tourism development. From simply counting the number of resorts or tourists, local authorities are understanding the importance of introducing quality based indicators. This is helping national authorities focus their actions on creating jobs and enhancing opportunities to increase the standard of living, especially among vulnerable populations.

Speaking about her hope for the future, Nam is enthusiastic: "My sister-in-law and I are so glad that we can continue doing this traditional work. We earn additional income from providing these services to visitors. What is more important is that our children are proud of the family traditions and when they grew up, they can come back to live and work in our homeland and not necessarily migrate to the city looking for jobs".

Within this framework, the authorities, communities and the private sector have also been trained to use participatory methodologies. Local authorities provide follow-up and support obtaining funds from the private sector, especially through conducting forums to give voice to investors. As a result of the authorities being part of the process, policy adjustments for more balanced, strategic policies have been advocated for and supported.




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.