The fight against HIV/AIDS and the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment have remained Vietnam’s challenges on the path towards realising its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, said National Assembly Vice Chairperson Tong Thi Phong.

NA Vice Chairperson Tong Thi Phong was addressing a seminar in Hanoi on October 18 held by the Committee for External Relations and the Committee for Social Affairs of the National Assembly, and the Vietnamese Subcommittee to the International Assembly of French-speaking Parliamentarians (APF).

Under the theme “NA deputies’ role in fulfilling MDGs on combating HIV/AIDS and promoting gender equality”, the seminar was attended by NA deputies and officials of NA Offices from Vietnam , Laos and Cambodia , and representatives from several subcommittees of the APF, relevant ministries, branches and international organisations.

The seminar created a forum for the NA deputies to share experiences and information in the accomplishment of MDGs in general as well as the fight against HIV/AIDS and the enhancement of gender equality in the parliament’s activities in particular.

NA Vice Chairperson Phong said the event helps delegates seek measures for issues that are challenging the international community and each country during the development process.

French Minister for the la Francophonie in the French Government Yanima Benguigui affirmed that the French-speaking community has always given priority to MDGs.

The community will stand by its member countries to help them add the gender equality content to their development policies, she said.
By 2012, Vietnam had reached many of the MDGs committed to the international community.

In ten years the country has halved the number of poor people and continues to make encouraging progress in the first goal to eradicate hunger and poverty. The poverty rate dropped from 58.1 percent in 1993 to 10.7 percent in 2010.

In 2000, the country achieved universal high-standard primary education and by 2012, net enrolment rates for primary education reached 97.7 percent.

Remarkable progress has also been seen in promoting gender equality and empowering women, as well as improving child and maternal health.

The country has obtained significant achievements in establishing global partnerships for development, helping mobilise the flow of foreign investment and official development assistance (ODA), while taking advantage of opportunities offered by trade liberalisation to spur economic growth and poverty reduction.

However, a substantial proportion of the population is in danger of falling back into poverty, as Vietnam is one of the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change .-VNA