Vietnam has made encouraging achievements in sustainable development over the past few years, according to information communicated at a press briefing held in Hanoi on Nov. 2.

The briefing was organised by the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Planning and Investment in order to introduce Rio+20 — the UN conference on sustainable development that is scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro next June — and discuss Vietnam's participation and progress in the relevant areas.

According to Nguyen Le Thuy, deputy head of the Department of Science, Education, Natural Resources and Environment (DSENRE), in recent years Vietnam has issued important documents to promote sustainable development, including a circular in 2005 to implement Agenda 21 set out at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio.

In addition to the establishment of the national overseeing body and the office for sustainable development, steering committees for the same purpose were also formed in several State agencies and localities.

Thuy said a draft of the sustainable development plan for Vietnam for 2011-20 had been submitted to the Prime Minister and is being revised.

A national action plan for sustainable development for 2011-15 is also being developed, she added.

Vietnam has also managed to considerably reduce unemployment and the number of poor households by creating jobs for more than 8 million people.

Thuy said the country achieved most of the millennium objectives set out by the United Nations.

Vietnam is now performing several important activities to prepare for Rio+20. In addition to the report on sustainable development, the Rio delegation is currently being formed, which would be led by a Deputy Prime Minister.

Rio+20 will draw thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders.

The event will address how to build a green economy and achieve sustainable development in order to lift people out of poverty, including support for developing countries. It will also discuss ways to improve international co-ordination for sustainable development./.