Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Thanh Son has stated that Vietnam will continue backing reform efforts carried out by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokava to enhance the organisation’s status and role.

Speaking to the 37th General Assembly of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Paris on November 8, Son said Vietnam will stand side by side with UNESCO by hosting major events at regional level in the coming time.

He also noted Vietnam’s efforts in education reform, with 20 percent of State budget is allocated for education each year. The country completed the universalization of secondary education and is on track to universalize high school education.

As part of the UNESCO’s Education for All (EFA) and the 2005-2014 Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) schemes, Vietnam is actively rolling out its National Action Plan for All for the 2013-2015 period while building a learning society and a network of community study centres.

Referring to culture, he said Vietnam highly values UNESCO’s role in preserving and upholding world’s tangible and intangible heritages.

Vietnam celebrated the 40 th anniversary of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in Ninh Binh province in September, 2012 and the 10th anniversary of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Quang Nam province this June. Son said the events manifest Vietnam’s high-level commitments to popularising the conventions among localities.

As regards to ASEAN - UNESCO cooperation, the Deputy Minister said Vietnam applauds the signing of a cooperation framework agreement, adding that it is an important legal foundation for their closer links to support the realisation of the ASEAN Community’s socio-economic pillar by 2015.

Receiving Son the same day, Bokava praised Vietnam for its active and effective contributions as a member of the UNESCO Executive Board for the 2009-2013 tenure, which according to her, have offered its members valuable cooperation lessons.

She also hailed Vietnam ’s suggestions to support the body in overcoming existing difficulties.-VNA