A UN expert has applauded Vietnam’s impressive progress in hunger elimination and poverty reduction as well as in ensuring socio-economic and cultural rights of its people.

Maria Carmona, UN Independent Expert on Human Rights and Extreme Poverty Issues, made the comment while presenting a report on the results of her working visit to Vietnam in August, 2010, at the 17 th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva , Switzerland, on May 31.

Carmona also lauded the Vietnamese Government’s adoption of the Social Security Strategy for the 2011 - 2020 period, stressing that Vietnam has become a middle-income country.

However, the expert warned these great achievements would impose huge challenges on the country, especially in reducing the growing inequality.

At the session, a Vietnamese representative stated Vietnam is pursuing a consistent policy of respecting and ensuring human rights, economic development coupled with reducing poverty and promoting social progress, equality and security.

Vietnam has worked out a comprehensive strategy on poverty reduction that is combined with national development policies and national programmes, the representative said.

The UN and concerned international organisations have already recognised Vietnam ’s accomplishment of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on poverty reduction 10 years ahead of schedule that was previously set for 2015.

The achievements in this field were reached in all regions and residential communities, including ethnic minority-inhabited areas, the representative added.

As a developing country, Vietnam is still facing many challenges in poverty reduction due to limited resources, war aftermaths, continuous natural disasters and fluctuations of the world economy. Therefore, the country has failed to achieve the sustainability in the fight against poverty, particularly in remote, isolated and ethnic minority-inhabited areas.

The representative affirmed that Vietnam would continue to give top priority to reducing poverty in the years to come and is willing to cooperate with the international community, especially UN human rights bodies in this field./.