Vietnam is ready to support Sierra Leone’s efforts to promote national reconciliation and unity, accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and strengthen its international integration process, a representative of Vietnam to the United Nations’ Security Council has said.

“We reaffirm our support for the efforts of Sierra Leone to take leadership and achieve more concrete progress in sustaining peace and stability, addressing the root causes of the conflict,” Ambassador Hoang Chi Trung, Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UNSC said at the council’s consultations on the operation of the UN Integrated Peace Building Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL), in New York on September 14.

He made the remark amidst concerns about the unresolved tension along ethnic and regional lines, the marginalization and disempowerment of both rural and certain urban communities and the weakening socio-economic resilience exacerbated by the rising price of food and fuel.

Those together with other critical peace-building challenges such as corruption, illicit drug trafficking and youth unemployment, which, if not carefully managed, have the potential of derailing the gains achieved so far, Ambassador Trung added.

However, the ambassador applauded steady progress in peace consolidation and socio-economic reconstruction, made by Sierra Leone over the past time, which was partially manifested in the overall stable political and security situation, the sustained dialogues among major political parties with the support of the United Nations, as well as the enhanced cooperation between Sierra Leone and neighboring countries.

He also commended the efforts by UNIPSIL in proceeding with its new mandate stipulated in Security Council Resolution 1829 (2008).

He called upon the UN, the Peace-building Commission, the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) and the international community at large to continue to assist the Government of Sierra Leone’s efforts in these undertakings./.