Ensuring social equality and progress is one of Vietnam ’s leading priorities, says a top Vietnamese diplomat.

Deputy Foreign Minister Le Luong Minh stated this while attending a debate at the 68 th annual meeting of the UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) in Bangkok , Thailand on May 21.

Vietnam has taken various measures to improve people’s living standards and welfare, especially vulnerable groups, he said.

The country is also carrying out its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and will try its best to reach them on schedule by 2015, he added.

While underlining Vietnam ’s proactive policies on international and regional integration, Deputy Minister Minh gave his full support to UNESCAP’s recommendations for strengthening regional cooperation and economic integration.

He added that Vietnam is ready to work with other countries to help realise the regions common goals.

Regarding regional cooperation, he said that similarities in history and culture are important foundations for Asian-Pacific countries to work closer together to ensure future development.

He recommended stepping up mutual consultation and coordination on macroeconomic policies, particularly financial policies, to reduce the risk of financial and monetary instability and maintain the region’s dynamism and growth during current global uncertainty

In addition, the region needs to promote internal economic, trade and investment cooperation to take the advantage of the dynamic development of regional markets and limit dependence on outside markets, said Minh.

He said that in the long run, countries need to apply new models of development and combine economic development, social equality and environmental protection with humanistic values.

After Vietnam ’s previous contributions, the countries present re-elected the country as a member of UNESCAP’s Asia and Pacific Centre for Agricultural Engineering and Machinery.

The participating countries will discuss and approve 12 resolutions with specific recommendations on boosting regional cooperation in priority areas such as promoting e-commerce; developing transport; strengthening regional connectivity in the field of energy; realising the UN Conference’s outcomes on sustainable development and providing care for disabled people.-VNA