SPEECH By Ms. Akiko Fujii, Co-chair of UN Programme Management Team at Workshop on Dissemination of Vietnam’s VNR at HLPF 2018

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Event: "Workshop on Dissemination of Vietnam's VNR at HLPF 2018" hosted by MPI

Time: 08:30, Friday, 24th August 2018

Venue: MPI's Meeting Hall, 6B Hoang Dieu, Hanoi

In my capacity as the co-chair of the UN Programme Management Team, I am delighted to be here today. I congratulate the Government of Vietnam, especially MPI as the lead agency on SDGs, on the successful presentation of Viet Nam's first Voluntary National Report (VNR) at the recent High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in New York in July.

The UN in Viet Nam is proud to have been a key partner contributing to this success. Our Resident Coordinator, Mr. Kamal Malhotra, accompanied the Vietnamese delegation at the HLPF and extended his full support to Viet Nam's delivery of the VNR presentation.

Viet Nam's VNR report covers all 17 SDGs and is one of the most comprehensive reviews globally. Being closely involved in the development process, we are pleased to see the Viet Nam VNR upholds three key principles of a VNR report:

  1. Evidence-based: We acknowledge the MPI drafting team's great effort in collecting most recent and disaggregated statistics and information to support the VNR report's analysis.
  2. Leaving no one behind: The analysis gave special attentions to vulnerable/disadvantaged population groups (such as the poor and ethnic minorities) and challenging geographical areas (such as Northern Mountainous and Central Highlands regions).
  3. Participatory: On overall, the VNR preparation benefited from wide consultation and participation by stakeholders including the government ministries/agencies, the UN in Viet Nam and other development partners, CSOs, the business and private sectors, academia and researchers, and people of the grassroots.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The VNR is an important milestone within the SDG National Action Plan, demonstrating the Gov's continuous and strong commitment in SDG implementation, monitoring and reporting.

Moving forward, we would like to highlight the following suggestions:

First, stakeholder engagement is crucial and can be further strengthened: As we are aware, the 2030 Agenda has ambitious targets, covering multiple and interconnected sectors, and requires contributions from all government bodies and all parts of the society. There is still a lot more potential from the private sector and CSOs, thus their participation should be encouraged and institutionalized, using meaningful and innovative mechanisms. Further engagement with the National Assembly, sub-national authorities and people-selected bodies, youth (as a positive agent for change), and grass-root communities, particularly most vulnerable and disadvantaged people also need to be enhanced to ensure leaving no one behind.

Second, it is critical to have continued high level government leadership to improve inter sectoral government coordination. We encourage the Government to go beyond silo and "business as usual" approach and strengthen the inter-sectoral coordination. We are also glad to hear that last week the VCCI chairman was delegated to be the vice chairman of the National Council for Sustainable Development and Enhancement of Competitiveness, as well as a new committee on public-private partnership (PPP) was established under this National Council.

Third, it's crucial to have the SDGs/VSDGs targets and indicators mainstreamed into the next 5-year Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP) and 10-year Socio-Economic Development Strategy (SEDS): This is to ensure the alignment between the SDG global agenda with the national development agenda. To our knowledge, the SEDS drafting process has just been initiated. We strongly suggest the process use the SDG-integrated and participatory approaches from the beginning. The UN is happy to be positively engaged with the process.

Finally, the availability of credible data is critically important to monitor progress, and for the UN to pay special attention. According to GSO's review, the current statistical capacity meets less than one third of the SDG data need. In order to have effective reporting, more effort and investment on data are needed. We suggest the Government to be bold and innovative in mobilizing data from different reliable sources, applying innovative and new methods and technologies for effective data collections such as real time monitoring and big data. It will be useful to create an integrated platform to encourage partnership for SDG data.

SDGs stay at the centre of our support to the country. The UN in Viet Nam is committed to supporting Vietnam in this long and rewarding development journey to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

We look forward to continued cooperation with the government, development partners, CSOs, private sector, and all other stakeholders to advance the 2030 Agenda forward and leave no one behind.

I wish you all good health and a productive workshop. XIN CAM ON!