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UN in the News

Database important step in migration management policy

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As published in Viet Nam News, 3 June 2011

HA NOI — A database on Vietnamese migrants will serve as a foundation to the Government in building a sustainable policy for migration management, according to a representative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Consular Department in Ha Noi yesterday.

Head of the department, Duong Chi Dung, said that the database, the first in Asia, revealed Government efforts in promoting safe and legal overseas migration whilst fighting illegal migration activities.

The relationship between migration and development was the focus at a conference attended by Vietnamese and international officials and researchers on migration held yesterday. The conference was aimed at developing better solutions for managing the cash flow and knowledge transfer of immigrants.


Drugged Out

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As published in Time Magazine, 30 May 2011

It is easy to miss the spirit gate that guards the entrance to Phiyer, a remote village in northern Laos. Half submerged in weeds beside a field of towering sugarcane, the simple wooden structure resembles a set of miniature rustic goalposts. Look closely, however, and you will notice it is strung with roughly carved swords and assault rifles made of bamboo. The villagers believe the gate wards off disease and evil spirits.


Great expectations

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As published in Thanh Nien News, 20 May 2011

Duong Trung Quoc was all set to hang up his parliamentary boots this year, but a lack of younger representatives has made him a candidate in the National Assembly elections yet again.

However, the seasoned legislator, who turns 64 this year, has no plans to take it easy.

Instead, he wants to make sure that the parliament addresses the rising wealth disparity that has bogged down the nation's development over the last few decades.

Quoc said the prevailing Land Law desperately needs a major shakeup, otherwise it would just continue to fuel social inequality that has rendered an increasing number of farmers landless.

"My colleagues and I have repeatedly urged amendments [to the Land Law] but our calls have fallen on deaf ears. Loopholes in the law have enabled profits to accrue only to certain interest groups and pushed more people into stark poverty."

Vietnam: Sea-level rise could "displace millions"

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Boat on the Mekong River
Millions along the Mekong could be affected

As published in IRIN news, 20 May 2011

For centuries, residents around Can Tho, a city of 1.1m people in southern Vietnam, just 0.8m above sea level, have depended on flood cycles to grow crops.

However, experts warn there is a possibility that sea levels will rise in the delta region around Can Tho due to climate change, causing devastating floods that will displace millions and destroy those crops.

Can Tho is in the wider Mekong Delta, a rice-growing region that spans southern Vietnam and is home to 18 million people. More than half of Vietnam's rice is produced in the delta, as well as 60 percent of its fish and shrimp.


Inflation in Vietnam will push more into poverty

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As published by Reuters News on 10 May 2011

Poverty will rise in Vietnam as a result of soaring inflation this year so the government must stay the course on price-busting policies, John Hendra, head of the United Nations mission in the country, said on Tuesday.

A UN study showed that poverty increased by 2.1 per cent after Vietnam's last bout of high inflation in 2008.

That year, inflation peaked near 28 per cent in August. Last month, the annual rise in the consumer price index hit 17.5 per cent - its highest level since December 2008 - and it is still going up.


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The Secretary-General’s message on the International Day For The Elimination of Violence Against Women


25 November 2015 - The atrocity crimes being committed against women and girls in conflict zones, along with the domestic abuse found in all countries, are grave threats to progress.

I am deeply concerned about the plight of women and girls living in conditions of armed conflict, who suffer various forms of violence, sexual assault, sexual slavery and trafficking. Violent extremists are perverting religious teachings to justify the mass subjugation and abuse of women. These are not random acts of violence, or the incidental fallout of war, but rather systematic efforts to deny women's freedoms and control their bodies. As the world strives to counter and prevent violence extremism, the protection and empowerment of women and girls must be a key consideration.


The Secretary-General's message on World Diabetes Day 2015


14 November 2015 - Close to 350 million people in the world have diabetes, and the prevalence is rising rapidly, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. There is much all of us can do to minimize our risk of getting the disease and, even if we do get it, to live long and healthy lives with it.

People who have diabetes lose their ability to properly regulate their blood sugar. Out-of-control blood sugar can lead to nerve damage, heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and lower-limb amputation.


The Secretary-General’s message on World Food Day 2015

16 October 2015 - This year's observance of World Food Day follows the landmark adoption by world leaders of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including a set of 17 goals to guide our work towards a future of dignity and prosperity for all on a healthy planet.

How we choose to grow, process, distribute and consume the food we eat has a profound effect on people, planet, prosperity and peace. Delivering on the promise of the 2030 Agenda will not be possible without rapid progress towards ending hunger and undernutrition. In the same way, delivering on the commitment to end hunger forever, for all people, will not be possible without major gains across the new Agenda.


The Secretary-General’s message for The International Day For Disaster Reduction

13 October 2015 - This year's observance of the International Day for Disaster Reduction is dedicated to the power of traditional, indigenous and local knowledge.

In March 2015 in Sendai, Japan, I met with the President of Vanuatu,

His Excellency Baldwin Lonsdale, at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction. On that very day, his island nation was devastated by Cyclone Pam, one of the strongest storms ever to strike the Pacific.

The force of the storm led to expectations that there would be great loss of life. Thankfully, this was not the case. One reason was that cyclone shelters built in the traditional style from local materials, saved many lives.


The Secretary-General's message on the International Day of the girl child


New York, 11 October 2015 - The newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals rightly include key targets for gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. They offer an opportunity for a global commitment to breaking intergenerational transmission of poverty, violence, exclusion and discrimination – and realizing our vision of a life of dignity for all.

Our task now is to get to work on meeting the SDG targets and making good on our promises to give girls all the opportunities they deserve as they mature to adulthood by 2030. That means enabling them to avoid child marriage and unwanted pregnancy, protect against HIV transmission, stay safe from female genital mutilation, and acquire the education and skills they need to realize their potential. It also requires ensuring their sexual health and reproductive rights. Girls everywhere should be able to lead lives free from fear and violence. If we achieve this progress for girls, we will see advances across society.