Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (Photo: VNA)
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh has shared Vietnam’s experience in implementing the millennium development goals (MDGs) that the country has achieved most ahead of schedule at a high-level event held at the UN headquarters in New York on September 25.

Following is the full text of his remarks at the event “From Global Conversation to Global Action-Making the Sustainable Development Goals work”.

“Excellencies,

“1. I am honoured to join this distinguished panel of world leaders to look back at our MDG implementation which I believe can give us some guidance on the way forward with the SDGs.

“2. We are entering a new era – the era of SDGs. We have a good foundation, laid by our efforts to implement the MDGs. But we are today faced with complex challenges, unprecedented in scale and scope. The Global Dialogue initiated and conducted by the UNDG in over 80 countries, including Viet Nam, enabled us to build an agenda that truly reflects the needs and aspirations of the people. And now is the time for our collective action to implement this new agenda. Looking back at our MDG experience can give us some good indication on how to move forward.

“3. Vietnam has achieved most of the MDGs ahead of schedule. These results are particularly significant if one looks at where Vietnam started – a country ravaged by decades of wars. Our MDG results are also important for the fact that they met the most basic needs of our people, in employment and income, health and education, water and sanitation.

“4. The last fifteen years have given us many valuable lessons, but a couple stand out as especially relevant for the 2030 Agenda and our discussion today.

“4.1. The Government of Vietnam took ownership of the MDGs and translated them into our own Vietnam Development Goals (VDGs) to better suit the specific circumstances of Vietnam. This enabled us to mobilise the whole Government behind the push for effective implementation of the global goals.

“4.2. Secondly, we could only succeed because we were able to maintain an environment of peace and stability . Vietnam’s political, economic and social stability has been the prerequisite for our development and MDG implementation.

“4.3. Thirdly, we consider development as a process of the people, by the people and for the people, and the ultimate aim of all development efforts is human development . We have learnt that it is crucial to listen to the voices of the people, including at the grassroots, in the design of major development policies and programmes. More importantly, such consultations and our commitment to always place the people’s best interest at heart can help garner the support of the people. We believe that financial and material resources may be limited, but the people’s capacity and potentials are limitless.

“4.4. Lastly, none of the success would have been possible without our close partnership with the UN system and other development partners . Vietnam has greatly benefited from the work of the UN agencies and the support of donor countries. This tripartite partnership – Government, UN and donors – has indeed been the hallmark in Vietnam’s MDG achievement and especially in implementation of “Delivering as One” to make the UN work more coherently, better coordinated and more efficient and effective. The SDGs, which are more comprehensive and interlinked, require an even stronger and more coherent UN system. We expect the UN system, working as one, to assist us in mainstreaming the SDGs into our sustainable development policies and strategies, and to support us achieve our own development priorities, particularly through the provision of integrated policy advice, technical assistance and capacity building. We pledge our continued support to help make the UN system more fit for that purpose.

“5. By means of conclusion, I wish to underline the four factors that I think will help ensure successful SDG implementation: high-level political commitment, a peaceful and stable environment for development, a focus on the people as the owner, driver and beneficiary of development efforts, and a strong global partnership for sustainable development that aims to leave no one behind.

“Thank you.”.-VNA