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ASEAN, China, UNDP exchange ideas on poverty reduction

The fourth ASEAN-China-United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Symposium began in Hanoi on Wednesday with discussion focusing on innovation in achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and eradicating poverty.

 

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Representatives of ASEAN, China, UNDP and Vietnam pose for a group photo. — VNS Photo Khanh Duong

 

The symposium offered the opportunity for State officials, policy makers and experts from ASEAN countries, China and UNDP to exchange knowledge, research and ideas to accelerate actions to achieve SDGs, particularly in poverty eradication.

Le Tan Dung, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs said ASEAN countries have made sustainable development achievements including reducing poverty and eliminating hunger.

The percentage of people in the bloc living under US$1.25 per day reduced from half of the population in 1990 to one eighth of the population in 2015.

ASEAN Vision 2025 highlights the combination of Sustainable Development 2030 Agenda into the blueprint aiming to improve quality of life.

Huang Xilian, Chinese ambassador to ASEAN, said China and ASEAN are committed to strengthening co-operation in sustainable development.

“We (China) have years of experience in finding a suitable path for sustainable development and poverty reduction. We would like to share with ASEAN countries and we can also learn from each other,” he told Việt Nam News.

“We will continue to support local efforts of ASEAN countries fighting poverty through projects and financial support. To get rid of poverty, we need to improve connectivity. We will help boost economic development of each ASEAN country as well as promote people’s livelihoods and reduce the poverty level.”

Valerie Cliff, UNDP deputy regional director for Asia- Pacific, offered three considerations to create a conducive environment for inclusive innovation to accelerate and achieve the SDGs. The first is to embrace the role of the State in setting a direction for innovation at all levels of government.

“Innovation has a direction and it can help or hinder the speed and scale of leveling the playing field upon which poverty sits,” she said.

“The second is to remember that innovation is contextual. It may go without saying, but we can’t remind ourselves enough that we cannot copy and paste success factors or failures. If we are to significantly deliver on our promise to meet people where they are, then we will need to be ever more agile in our methodology of creating solutions to challenges that are nuanced in nature.

“The third is to engage citizens throughout the policy process. Many governments are already starting to shift their approach in regards to how they listen, respond and in some cases, even anticipate, what citizens need and want.”

Labour deputy minister Dung said: “The Vietnamese Government is of the opinion that if hunger and poverty are not solved, development goals, such as economic stabilisation, human rights development, will not be achieved. Poverty reduction and hunger elimination have become a major policy of the Vietnamese Government.”

Vietnam aims to increase average income per capita by the end of 2020 by 1.5 times compared to that of 2015. Income of poor households in remote areas is set to double by 2020, he said.

VNS

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