Vietnam will further strengthen the health care system to ensure its sustainable development, said Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien at the UN General Assembly Special Session on Population and Development in New York on September 22.

Following is the full text of her speech at the event.

“The Vietnamese delegation expresses our sincere appreciation to the Secretary General for the excellent reports submitted to this important session. We highly appreciate the Report A/69/62 on the framework of action and the Index report of the 47th session of the Commission on Population 65/234 and other approved documents.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In the past 20 years, Vietnam has made considerable progress in implementing the Program of Action of ICPD. Together with socio - economic development in our country, the health status of Vietnamese people, particularly those related to sexual and reproductive health, has greatly been improved. Between 1990 and 2010, the Maternal Mortality Ratio declined by almost 3/4, and the under five children mortality reduced by more than 50 percent. In the period of 1994- 2013, the Total Fertility Rate dropped by half and the Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) increased by 13 percent. With this profound progress, Vietnam is one of just a few countries around the world on track to achieve MDGs 4 and 5 by 2015.

In the coming years, besides policies aimed at stimulating socio - economic growth, sustainable development and social security, the Government of Vietnam will focus our sustainable development agenda on the following:
- Develop appropriate laws and policies that respond to population aging, migration and urbanization, imbalance sex ratio at birth and gender equalities.
- Further strengthen the healthcare system to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, particularly for those who are ethnic minorities and rural to urban migrants.
- Expand and improve the quality of youth - friendly sexual and reproductive health services, including the integration of comprehensive sexual education into school curricula including life skills education.

Ladies and gentlemen,

We believe that the impact of population dynamics on the mirco and macro levels also requires its strong integration into development planning at the national, regional and international levels, and that the development challenges we have been facing in the past decades require more systematic participation of all stakeholders in crafting and implementing responses to these challenges, for which partnership and global leadership through the United Nations are critical.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to Secretary General, to the Commission on Population and Development, to UNFPA and other development partners that have supported Vietnam in the area population and development. We wish us all a very fruitful meeting.

Thank you for your attention!”- VNA