In her interview with the VGP, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. and UNDP Resident Representative in Viet Nam Caitlin Wiesen noted that, the meeting is important and timely as UNDP in Viet Nam commenced the implementation of the new UNDP Country Program for the period from 2022-2026.
This is also a critical moment in the country's economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic and the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy, she added.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Pham commended the cooperation between Viet Nam and UNDP in recent times, especially in the areas of green and sustainable development and climate change response.
The Government leader said that he would direct agencies to coordinate closely with UNDP to access technical assistance and to consult on policy issues relating to areas of interest such as the transition to a carbon neutral and green economy, and post-pandemic recovery.
For his part, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner reaffirmed UNDP's commitment and partnership to deliver on the high expectations that the government of Viet Nam has for UNDP, including support for a just energy transition and digital transformation.
With more than three decades of uninterrupted economic growth, Viet Nam has made impressive advances towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and improving the quality of life for millions of people, highlighted Caitlin Wiesen.
For the first time in 2019, Viet Nam moved into the high human development category, ranking 117 out of 189 countries, with a Human Development Index value of 0.704.
"UNDP has been a committed partner with long trusted history of engagement with Viet Nam accompanying the country through its amazing development journey", she underscored.
Viet Nam is to be commended for its commitment to multilateralism and the increasingly important role it plays at regional and global levels advancing priorities for peace and security and climate security agendas.
Regarding UNDP's assistance for Viet Nam, Caitlin Wiesen said that, UNDP has provided support to Viet Nam's leadership and advocacy for Women, Peace and Security, Climate Security, and Mine Action agendas, when Viet Nam served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council during 2020-2021 tenure and continues to support these agenda in national and international fora.
Remarkably, UNDP is also deepening work with the Government of Viet Nam in realizing its commitments to human rights treaties and wishes Viet Nam every success with its candidature for the Human Rights Council in 2023.
Recently, the Government of Viet Nam, UNDP and the Norwegian government worked together to organize an International Sustainable Ocean Economy Conference, in which Government leaders, ministers, and experts from 44 countries took part.
The Conference was an example of Viet Nam's commitment to leading on global issues of urgent concern for people and planet. The comprehensive and ambitious joint statement at the conclusion of the Conference will contribute to the upcoming 4th UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon, Portugal, and the Stockholm+50 in Sweden in June.
In addition, Viet Nam's carbon neutral commitment at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) presents an excellent opportunity to undertake a comprehensive and just energy transition.
"We commend Viet Nam for immediately reviewing and aligning its development strategies and plans with the new climate change targets to realize its carbon neutral commitment", reiterated UNDP Resident Representative.
UNDP has been working with Viet Nam on a new generation of strategies, including the Climate Change Strategy and the 8th National Power Development Plan (POP8), she added.
Besides, UNDP continues providing policy advice and technical support to Viet Nam to scale up the tested, innovative solutions in the National Targeted Program on Sustainable Poverty Reduction and deliver on the Program's objective of reducing the number of poor and near-poor households by half by 2025.
In collaboration with other UN agencies, UNDP has been providing technical support to strengthening and expansion of Viet Nam's social protection system.
"Our work with our government partners has focused on the importance of a life-cycle approach, universal coverage, digitalized self-registration, management and delivery of social assistance services as keys to provide a comprehensive, multi-tiered, shock responsive, inclusive integrated social protection system to all people of Viet Nam", emphasized Caitlin Wiesen.
Earlier this year, the UNDP Executive Board approved the new Country Program Document (CPD) for Viet Nam for the 2022-2026 period with total funding of more than US$ 121 million.
The new CPD is aligned with the Government's priorities set out in the 10-year socio-economic development strategy and five-year socio-economic development plan. The program is guided by the UNDP Strategic Plan and enhanced by the three enablers including strategic innovation, digitalization, and development financing.
Moreover, three focus areas of the program include shared prosperity through sustainable economic transformation; climate change, disaster resilience and environmental sustainability and governance and access to justice.
UNDP is working with partners in Viet Nam to accelerate the implementation of SDGs and is committed to working closely with Viet Nam to boost economic growth after the pandemic and to achieve long-term development that is equitable, inclusive, and environmentally sustainable.
While Viet Nam is still a leader in poverty reduction and many essential indicators of wellbeing like access to clean water and sanitation, there is still a lot of room for progress on many environmental indicators, including protection of forests and biodiversity, air and water pollution and overfishing.
UNDP is working with the Government to ensure that the benefits of growth are shared more widely, and that all Vietnamese citizens have access to world-class education, health care, essential infrastructure, and social protection.
Viet Nam's commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 marks an historic realignment of development policy that will have a major impact on economic plans and strategies and require a substantial increase in public and private investment.
UNDP will support the government with technical assistance and international lessons learnt to provide policy and financing choices, to unlock the value of public assets, manage risk and redirect resources to productive purposes.
In their recent meeting, the PM and UNDP Administrator discussed the development implications of climate change and the need for people centered Just Energy Transition.
The two leaders agreed that UNDP can support Viet Nam in the country's efforts to achieve an economic rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic that is sustainable and inclusive.
This includes the formulation of an innovative financing strategy that maximizes public and private, national, and international resources as well as closing the digital gap so that all citizens can benefit from online government and other services.
UNDP will also assist Viet Nam in implementing the Blue Economy Scenarios to achieve sustainable development of six marine sectors; and modernizing and expanding social assistance and social protection systems.
"Based on the country's past performance and renewed commitment to sustainable growth, UNDP is confident that Viet Nam will emerge as a global leader in achieving the SDGs by 2030 and building a prosperous, sustainable, and future where no one is left behind", stated Caitlin Wiesen./.