Vietnam’s population and development issues were discussed at the National Workshop on South-South Cooperation in Population and Development, in Hanoi on May 19.

The event was jointly held by the Vietnamese Health Ministry and the Partner in Population and Development (PPD) organisation.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Deputy Health Minister, Doctor Nguyen Ba Thuy said Vietnam’s achievements in the population and family planning programme have reflected the Government’s commitments, efforts of the health and population sectors as well as other relevant ministries and agencies from central to grassroots level in implementing the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action and fulfilling the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The success of the population and family planning programme has directly contributed to Vietnam’s outstanding endeavours in reducing poverty, which have been acknowledged by the international community, she said.

The Party and State of Vietnam always devotes a strong commitment to realising targets set out in the ICPD Programme of Action adopted in 1994, and to achieving the MDGs, the deputy minister said.

PPD Executive Director Harry S. Jooseery said he was impressed by Vietnam’s gains in reducing its population growth rate to 1.2 percent, achieving a birth rate of 2.3 children per family and strongly reducing the newborn mortality rate, although Vietnam is the third most populous country in Southeast Asia .

Jooseery expressed his hope that other issues regarding sexual health, juvenile health, gender rate at birth and differences between localities will be successfully dealt with in the future.

In September, 2009, Vietnam became the 25th member of PPD, an inter-governmental organisation set up during the International Conference on Population Development (ICPD) meeting in Cairo in 1994, dedicated to the promotion of South-South partnerships and the objectives of the ICPD Programme of Action to fulfil MDGs.

PPD now covers 25 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East,  representing more than 57 percent of global population.

This is the first time Vietnam has conducted the National Workshop on South-South in Population and Development./.