VietNamNet Bridge – The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has granted an interview to the Vietnam News Agency before his visit to Vietnam from May 22-23, in which he talked about the aims of the visit and made recommendations for the country in its transition to the post-2015 sustainable development goals.


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon visited the United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) in October 2010 (Photo: VNA)


The following is the full text of the interview:

Vietnam is one of a few countries that you will visit for the second time. What is the purpose of the upcoming visit?

I am very pleased to visit Vietnam again. I fondly remember my last visit in 2010 when I had the opportunity to attend the UN-ASEAN Summit as well as meet with Government officials to thank them for Vietnam’s support for the “One United Nations” reform.

One of the main focuses of my forthcoming trip will be on environmental sustainability and climate change. I am honoured to open the Green One UN House - an eco-friendly building now home to the UN family working in Vietnam.

I will be meeting with President Truong Tan Sang, General Secretary of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. I plan to discuss a number of issues with them, including the post-2015 agenda as well as Vietnam’s continued leadership on climate action on the road to Paris later this year when the international community is expected to adopt a legally binding and universal agreement on climate.

I am grateful for Vietnam’s contribution to UN Peacekeeping and I will be visiting the Peacekeeping Centre in Hanoi which is helping to prepare Vietnamese troops for deployment to peacekeeping operations around the world.

I believe that young people are not just the leaders of tomorrow but also the leaders of today, and I am looking forward to engaging with them at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam, where I will deliver a lecture on the role of the UN in development, peace and security.

In the context of reduced international financial assistance, Vietnam is making efforts to achieve the green growth targets as set out in the national Green Growth strategy for 2011-2020 with the vision to 2050. What would be your advices for Vietnam?

I am encouraged by Vietnam's proactive and far-sighted leadership on climate action. It makes good business sense to invest in green growth. Lower carbon investments made today will pay off handsomely in the years ahead.

Reducing emissions and strengthening resilience has multiple benefits, not just for climate but for food security, health, better air quality, job growth and many other elements that add up to a more prosperous and liveable future.

Vietnam is one of the nations that have successfully implemented many of the MDGs. What would be your recommendations for Vietnam in its transition to the post-2015 sustainable development goals?

Vietnam has made remarkable progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and has been successful in meeting many of them, including halving extreme poverty and hunger rates, improving people’s access to water and sanitation, achieving universal primary education as well as gender equality in education.

Moving forward, and beyond 2015, Vietnam must ensure that progress is shared by all groups of the population, including ethnic minority communities and people living close to the poverty line. The country needs to make sure that people are not sent back into extreme poverty by economic or natural disasters.

I am very encouraged by Vietnam’s determination and achievements, especially through the establishment of its own national development goals that has allowed it to transition from one of the world's poorest countries to a middle-income one in recent decades. I am confident that the post-2015 era will open up new opportunities for Vietnam and help it focus on overcoming the remaining challenges it faces to achieve sustainable development for all.

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