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UN-REDD – Ordinary lives, extraordinary stories: The secrets of building trust

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IMG 1281Photo: KIn Yii Yong“I’m the first person they turn to when they can’t resolve disputes amicably,” says Nong Thi Nguyet, a 50-year old woman and village head from the Vietnamese Na Ray village in Na Ri district, Bac Kan province.

Petite Nong Thi Nquyet stands out in a room filled with members of the Commune Peoples’ Committee, mass organizations, and elected village heads. She is the sole village headwoman and speaks with the confidence of a born mediator who has won the trust and respect of her fellow villagers.

Most are from ethnic minorities – Tay, Nung and Dao. Currently serving her ninth year as Na Ray village’s elected headwoman, she takes the trust they have placed in her very seriously, spurred on by a desire to maintain harmony and unity in her village.

IMG 1259Photo: KIn Yii YongAs the headwoman, she also leads the Grassroots Mediation Group, made up of representatives from the Womens’ Union, the police, and the Fatherland Front. This group deals with cases ranging from domestic violence to complaints of buffaloes straying onto other people’s land, to boundary and land ownership disputes.

One of the first steps is to refer to the Village Regulations, a common document of “dos and don’ts” drawn up by the villagers. Most cases are resolved amicably. However, cases related to land-use rights certificates, commonly called Red Books because of their colour are often referred to the Commune Peoples’ Committee. If they cannot be resolved there, they are raised at the district, provincial and finally national level.

Last month, July 2016, Nguyet was in Bac Kan town attending a training with other 29 participants supported by the UN-REDD Viet Nam Phase II Programme

The Programme aims at Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD), incentivizing forest owners and users for conserving forests in a sustainable manner.
UN-REDD’s training piloted the Grievance Redress Mechanism (GRM). GRMs help to receive stakeholder feedback already at an early stage and respond to it accordingly, reducing the risk of grievance for example during a project. Otherwise, this frustration could lead to delaying or blocking a project, or other negative consequences for the project.

The training, which Nguyet attended, focused on raising awareness of the steps to be taken at each point of the GRM, including how best to classify cases and decide on the best channels for resolution. Those taking part were able to practice their mediation skills through a series of practical and fun role plays.

“I have learnt about the different types of cases under the different laws and how to correctly identify them. Now, I also understand the big picture, and how my role is linked to those at the commune, district, province and national levels, as well as the processes involved. This is making me feel even more confident about dealing with the cases that I will have to deal with in the future,” said Nguyet with a big smile, as she proudly completed the training.

Gender equality is one of the four cross-cutting themes in UN-REDD’s Work Programme, including stakeholder engagement, forest governance and tenure security. Contributing significantly to the Programme’s outcomes and outputs, the themes are to ensure the achievement of anticipated results.

Learn more:
• REDD Viet Nam website:
• Information note about GRM – “Joint FCPF/UN-REDD Programme Guidance Note for REDD+ Countries: Establishing and Strengthening Grievance Redress Mechanisms”:
• Gender equality as one of the four UN-REDD cross-cutting themes (bottom of page) in the Work Programme:!work-programme/sf3c6




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.