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Viet Nam hosts the Asia-Europe Meeting conference on innovative education and human resource building for sustainable development

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Hue, 30-31 March 2017 – The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) conference initiated by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, allowed for the sharing of best practices in promoting quality and innovative education for human resource development and for the identification of needed policies and recommendations in such areas. Policymakers, government officials, businesses, youths and other stakeholders in Asia and Europe also collaborated for the integration of 21st century skills into existing educational systems.

With the participation of around 200 delegates, the conference provided a platform for the consolidation of proposals for ASEM’s new Vision for Education consisting of ASEM’s new Skills Agenda and concrete measures to equip the youth with 21st-century skills and qualities needed to achieve a skilled, adaptable and professional workforce. The two-day Conference follows the Vietnamese Prime Minister’s initiative adopted at the 11th ASEM Summit in Mongolia in July 2016 with co-sponsorship of five ASEM members: Japan, Finland, India, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea.

Participants shared both national and international experiences through 4 plenary sessions with the delivery of 17 speeches highlighting the role of education and human resources for sustainable development; opportunities, challenges and the role of related parties; facts and lessons in Asia and Europe; and Asia-Europe cooperation in innovative education and human resources building for sustainable development.

Key issues discussed included the adoption of more comprehensive, cross-sectoral approaches in education and training; the promotion of lifelong learning in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the strengthening of cooperation among private and public stakeholders to ensure that educational and training programmes comprise of skills for international integration. Advancement of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education was also among the major topics discussed, with special attention to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Initiating the conference, H.E. Mr. Vu Duc Dam, Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam, stated that “in today’s era of science and technology, especially in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, education and high-quality human resource development are ever more essential.” Emphasizing the importance of the continuation and expansion of ASEM’s many initiatives and projects, he highlighted the need of “a generation of global citizens with a sense of responsibility not only for their community and nation but also for the common problems of the world, the future of human civilization and this planet.”

Of the keynote speakers, Dr. Gwang-Jo Kim, Director of the UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, provided an overview of key economic, social and environmental conditions in the region and how education can be harnessed to tackle growing challenges. He stressed that “education is not only the key to economic development, but to social transformation for a more peaceful and sustainable world; none of the 17 SDGs can be achieved without achieving SDG4.”

Also presenting at the conference, Ms. Susan Vize, UNESCO Representative a.i to Viet Nam, shared some of UNESCO’s major initiatives and lessons learned in innovative education and high quality human capital in Viet Nam.  Initiatives drew upon the importance of ICT-pedagogy integration through policy interventions, professional development of educators, application of student-centred teaching methodologies, Media Information Literacy (MIL), Open Access Resources (OER) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

Reports and proposals approved during the conference will be used in preparations for the sixth ASEM Education Ministerial Meeting scheduled in the Republic of Korea in November; the 13th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Myanmar in November and the 12th ASEM Summit in Belgium in 2018.

For more information, please contact: Mr. Toshiyuki Matsumoto, Education Programme Specialist, at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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.


The secretary-general's message for the International Day to End Violence against Women and Girls


25 November 2016 - At long last, there is growing global recognition that violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, public health pandemic and serious obstacle to sustainable development.  Yet there is still much more we can and must do to turn this awareness into meaningful prevention and response.


UNIDO Director General's Op-Ed Article to media on the occasion of UNIDO's 50th anniversary


Did you know that in Viet Nam, the net flow of foreign direct investment increased from USD1billion in 2003 to USD10 billion in 2008, and that by 2015 reached USD23 billion?  Or that the total value of exports rose from USD2 billion in 1990 to USD72 billion in 2010, to reach USD162 billion in 2015? These impressive figures highlight the country’s robust economic success, providing a boost to the economy and employment.

These accomplishments are largely due to the reforms undertaken by Viet Nam since Doi Moi in 1986 which liberalized the economy, attracted foreign investment, fostered exports and reduced poverty. To prepare for reform, Viet Nam received extensive technical assistance from the international community, including from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), well before 1986 and, more precisely, since 1978.

For more than 35 years, UNIDO has been sharing international best practices to help Viet Nam develop inclusive and sustainable industry. With more than USD100 million in expenditure, UNIDO’s technical cooperation activities have been carried out across a broad range of fields, including support to the private sector and technical and industrial research organizations, facilitation of technology transfer, trade capacity-building, human resource development, environmental protection, energy efficiency, investment promotion and responsible business practices.

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