STATEMENT BY H.E. MR. NGUYEN THE PHUONG Vice Minister of Planning and Investment, Head of Viet Nam Delegation to the High-level Political Forum of the UN ECOSOC

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Event: High-level Political Forum of the UN ECOSOC

Date: 16 July 2018

Venue: UN Heqdquarters, New York, United States of America

It is my great honor, on behalf of Viet Nam, to be here today presenting Viet Nam's first Voluntary National Review. My presentation is structured into five parts, including a brief introduction on Viet Nam's SDG implementation and VNR development; a summary of the key SDG results in Viet Nam, focusing on five SDGs of this 2018 HLPF theme; means for SDGs achievement; the challenges; and finally, the way forward to achieve the SDGs in Viet Nam.

1. I would like to start by emphasizing Viet Nam has a strong commitment in pursuing sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are fully in line with the long-term development strategy of Viet Nam. In May 2017, the Government of Viet Nam issued the SDG National Action Plan in which the SDGs are nationalized into 17 Viet Nam Sustainable Development Goals (or VSDGs) and 115 VSDG targets. Viet Nam's VNR has been prepared in 2018 based on intensive and extensive consultations as well as constructive participation from all stakeholders including vulnerable group to ensure leaving no one behind.

2. Viet Nam has made significant achievements in poverty reduction, health insurance coverage, primary net enrolment, access to electricity, and access to safe water. Viet Nam has also achieved improvements in the protection and management of the environment and natural resources. Gender equality has become a cross-cutting issue in all political, economic, cultural, and social spheres. The country is on the pathway to reduce inequality and improve access to justice and information.

Regarding SDG 6 on water and sanitation, we are able to increase the number of households accessing sources of drinking water annually, hitting 93.4 per cent in 2016. Nevertheless, water pollution remains a big challenge for Viet Nam. Achieving the SDG 6 targets by 2030 are challenging for Viet Nam.

In implementing SDG 7 on affordable and clean energy, as of 2016, more than 99 per cent of households have access to electricity. However, Viet Nam still lags behind regarding energy efficiency and limited use of non-hydropower renewable energy.

For the SDG 11, the national average housing area per person increased from 16.7 square meter in 2009 to 23.4 square meter in 2017. We are making progress in supporting people with disabilities with all buses having priority seats. Rural infrastructure has been enhanced with approximately 99 per cent of communes having roads to centres, connections to the national electric grid, primary schools, preschools and health clinics. However, being one of the countries most affected by natural disasters and climate change has created huge difficulties in making human settlements resilient and sustainable.

For the SDG 12, the strategy on Cleaner Industrial Production has been implemented nationwide, attracting the participation of more than 9,000 enterprises. Viet Nam has started to use "green" and energy saving labels for electric and electronic products, and is applying sustainable public procurement practices in accordance with relevant green economy standards. Nevertheless, sustainable consumption and production activities remain fragmented with small-scale impacts.

Noticeable achievements in SDG 15 on life on land have been seen. Forest coverage has been increased rapidly to 41.5 per cent in 2017. Viet Nam has developed a database on genetic resources and traditional knowledge. However, the population of wild species continues to decline, with regulations to combat alien invasive organisms yet to be formulated.

3. Regarding the means for SDG achievement, Viet Nam emphasizes and is applying the "whole-of-society" approach which engages all stakeholders, with a special attention to mobilize participation and contribution of the private sector, NGOs, and other organizations. Viet Nam has established the National Council on Sustainable Development and Competitiveness Enhancement. The Viet Nam Business Council for Sustainable Development has been also formed to promote the business sector's engagement in SDG implementation.

The Government of Viet Nam is fully aware that the SDG implementation comes at a significant cost. Therefore, a priority has been given to the allocation of Government budget for implementing the SDGs. We also consider ODA, FDI, remittances are important sources for SDG implementation in Viet Nam. To achieve success in 17 SDGs, Viet Nam will continue to enhance mobilization of all resources, especially from the private sector and promote public finance.

Viet Nam has been formulating the National Roadmap and Indicator System for SDG Monitoring & Evaluation. Our recent feasibility review of 232 global SDG statistical indicators shows that only 123 indicators are feasible in Viet Nam. Many SDG indicators do not have metadata, must be newly collected, with complicated calculation methods, and/or with data from non-conventional sources.

4. Despite the initial SDG achievements, Viet Nam is facing various difficulties and challenges in SDG implementation, such as climate change environmental degradation and others. SDG implementation demands huge financial inputs, while the State budget remains limited. There are also challenges in monitoring and reporting SDG progress.

5. Viet Nam identifies the following next steps for SDG achievement:

Thank you for your attention. I wish you good health and happiness.

Click to see the presentations: pdfViet_Nams_VNR_presentation_at_UNHLPF_2018.pdf