Vietnam ’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Nguyen Thanh Son, delivered an important speech at the 189 th session of the UNESCO Executive Board on Mar. 1 in Paris , saying that Vietnam is very much in favour of the measures UNESCO is taking to deal with the recent turbulent economic environment.

Of UNESCO’s proposed solutions, Son especially praised the idea of setting up an UNESCO Emergency Fund and other measures proposed by UNESCO’s General Director Irina Bokova to cope with the current difficulties brought about by the global recession and the US cutting its annual payments to the organisation.

Son said that Vietnam supports every move UNESCO makes to be more innovative and cut costs, particularly the future plans that Bokova had recommended previously. He added that reducing budgetary expenditure is essential in the current economic climate. However, UNESCO needs to maintain efficient and cost effective programmes such as the Biospheres project and the International Network of Geo-parks. This is a chance for UNESCO to review its operations and undertake any necessary improvements as well as reinforcing the global role it plays.

Vietnam supports UNESCO strengthening its relationship with the many National Commissions for UNESCO and suggested tighter mechanisms between the UNESCO Secretariat and the various National Commissions will benefit UNESCO and improve its image with members, said the Deputy Minister.

Son praised UNESCO’s idea of enhancing its partnership with multi-national businesses to carry out its programmes in education and culture more effectively. This will also help UNESCO to access all the strengths and experiences of its partners and help to tackle ongoing and persistent problems.

He said that Vietnam will always stand by UNESCO and share its current financial challenges and is presently about to submit its annual contributions for 2012. He also called for more effort from member countries to support the organisation.

Son then revealed that Vietnam is ready to host the Consultative Meeting of UNESCO National Commissions for the Asia Pacific region in June in Thanh Hoa province. Vietnam sees this as an opportunity to contribute to the organisation as well as spotlighting one of its unique heritages, the Ho Citadel, which was recognised as a world cultural heritage site last year.-VNA