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Mai’s Journey

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Photo courtesy Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai

Explore the 8 Millennium Development Goals through the eyes of a young Vietnamese woman.

I went on this journey alone – even today it seems almost like a dream to me. I am not a brave person. I wear glasses, read books and play computer games. And I am passionate about wanting to help my country develop. Until recently, I didn’t think that I would be able to act so directly on my dream. Then, suddenly, I was out on dusty dirt roads in rural Viet Nam, clambering over bamboo bridges and trekking through forests and most importantly meeting lots of young people, discussing development in our country and learning about different life conditions.

My name is Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai. I am a graduate of the Hanoi Law University. I had heard about this contest that UNV in Hanoi had set up. They were looking for suggestions of how to promote volunteerism among young people for development and I had this dream of visiting the provinces in Viet Nam. I wanted to experience how people that I only know from statistics lived – the ones that do not have access to doctors, walk far to get water, survive on less than 2 dollars a day – I wanted to meet them and reflect together with them on how things could change for them. I had also heard of the Millennium Development Goals. I knew that they were 8 goals for development that all governments in the world had agreed upon to align, strengthen and support development in developing countries.  I sent in an entry for the contest, describing how I would travel by public transportation through Viet Nam, to visit the 13 poorest provinces, meeting up with young people along the way and documenting my trip in a diary that could be published on the internet. And then I won!


Mai visited 23 of Viet Nam’s 64 provinces - thirteen of these provinces have the lowest MDG indicators in Viet Nam. Read about what she learned on her unique journey:




1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.


Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.

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