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Helping Viet Nam tackle wildlife and forest crime

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UNONE-610Once an emerging threat, wildlife and forest crime today has transformed into one of the largest transnational organized criminal activities in Viet Nam and East Asia-Pacific, generating an estimated USD19.5 billion annually in the region. It affects a vast range of animals, birds, reptiles, timber and other forest products - many of which are globally threatened species. This spike in the illegal wildlife trade, threatens to overturn decades of conservation gains. Wildlife and forest crime also frequently involves other forms of serious criminality. Within Viet Nam, organized criminal networks move poached or illegally harvested wildlife and timber products through a variety of smuggling techniques also used to traffic drugs, people, weapons and counterfeit goods. Wildlife and forest crime has far-reaching negative consequences that go well beyond environmental impacts, by seriously undermining economies and livelihoods, good governance, the rule of law and affecting national security.


Within this context, Viet Nam is recognized as a major transit and consumer country for wildlife and timber trafficking, particularly for Siamese rosewood, pangolins, elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn. In the past five years the problem has reached crisis levels, with Vietnamese authorities during 2010 to August 31 2015 having detected and seized approximately 18,000 kilogrammes of illegal ivory, 55,200kg of pangolin and more than 235kg of rhino horn, which is estimated to represent only 5-10% of the illegal trade in reality.

In 2015, UNODC supported by FAO worked with the CITES Management Authority of Viet Nam (under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Viet Nam Administration of Forestry) and Wildlife Conservation Society to undertake Viet Nam's first-ever national analysis of the situation on the ground and the main challenges in relation to wildlife and forest crime in the country. This work was conducted under the framework of the ICCWC Wildlife and Forest Crime Analytic Toolkit. This landmark initiative built on Prime Minister's Directive No.03/CT-TTg in 2014, which represents commitment from the highest level of government to effectively address the issue and sees UNODC support the Viet Nam Wildlife Enforcement Network to review achievements in combating wildlife trafficking. The national analysis featured fact-finding field missions to a range of border crossings, national parks, seaports, airports and markets, in cities and provinces. Consultations were then held with representatives from central, provincial and local government, donors and civil society groups as well as judges, customs officials, police, border guard officers and forest rangers. In addition, research and desk reviews of relevant legislation, wildlife and forest crime literature, published reports and national studies were conducted.

UNODC presented findings and recommendations from this important work to the Government of Viet Nam in September 2015, reflecting the true strengths and challenges of the country's capacity to tackle wildlife and forest crime. To underline the report's scope and depth, 50 recommendations were made to strengthen Viet Nam's response to wildlife and forest crime. Key ones include revision of legal provisions, enhancement of the judiciary, procuracy and law enforcement agencies' knowledge and awareness of the specialized nature of wildlife and forest crimes, strengthened coordination and cooperation between enforcement agencies and development of Viet Nam's forensic analysis capacity.

In response to the far-reaching UN recommendations, Government agencies' responses will be used to design a detailed programme for national capacity building and technical assistance delivery in Viet Nam. They will also form the basis of Viet Nam's first national programme to control the illegal exploitation, trade and consumption of endangered wildlife species, managed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with UN support.




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.