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Hanoi, 1 November 2005 – A high-level consultation has been convened today by the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), in collaboration with National Commission for Population, Family and Children and UNICEF Vietnam to discuss and exchange international experiences on how to best integrate the concerns of children and families into the Five-Year Socio-Economic Development Plan for 2006-2010.
As one of the most important documents of the Government of Vietnam, the Five-Year Socio-Economic Development Plan (SEDP) provides a framework and directions for different ministries and sectors to develop their own plans of actions and annual plans. This consultation aims to support adequate consideration of children’s issue into the national SEDP, so that the rights of children can be more fully achieved through the national development process. This is particularly necessary during a time of rapid economic growth, increasing industrialization and social change in Vietnam.
Her Excellency, Vice President Madame Truong My Hoa gave the Consultation’s inaugural address. Participating and giving speech in the Consultation were also Madame Le Thi Thu, Minister, Chairperson of Vietnam Commission for Population, Family and Children as well as senior officials and leaders from line ministries, National Assembly Committees of Viet Nam and representatives from international organizations. H.E. Mr. Jorge E. Vargas, former Planning and Investment Minister of Colombia, also presented at the Consultation and provided high-level advices and recommendations for integrating children’s issues in the SEDP.

Speaking at the Consultation, Mr. Jesper Morch, UNICEF Representative in Viet Nam welcomed this Government’s initiative to strengthen children issues in the SEDP 2006-2010. “Viet Nam was the first country in Asia and the second country in the world to ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.  This Conference as well as the parallel work of the State of Viet Nam on improving its approach to children in the next five year plan are outstanding examples of the remarkable commitment of Viet Nam toward the fulfilment of children’s rights”, he said.

UNICEF Viet Nam has provided detailed comments to the June draft of the SEDP which highlighted three aspects that the SEDP should put stronger emphasis on:
1. Malnutrition: Child malnutrition rates in Viet Nam are too high for a nation which aspires to become a middle income country and which expects outstanding results in education from its children. The SEDP should, therefore highlight an ambitious national and inter-sectoral efforts to reduce child malnutrition even more than it is currently proposed.

2. As child protection problems are increasing and many previously unknown problems with violence against children and exploitation emerge, there is an urgent need to review and expand child protection policies and systems in Viet Nam. This needs a concerted effort of the whole nation and of many Government agencies which should be clearly reflected in the next draft of the SEDP.

3. Given the demographic composition of the population as well as the stresses that adolescents and young people are facing during the reform process, specific policies and programmes for adolescents are necessary in areas as well as a Governmental mechanisms to coordinate line agencies and mass organizations in this area.

For further information, please contact:
Daniel Seymour (Mr), Planning Section, UNICEF Viet Nam +844 942 5706, ext 219
or 091 325 3931 or

Trịnh Anh Tuan (Mr), Communication Section, UNICEF Viet Nam +844 942 5706, ext 234
or 090 329 6393 or

Nguyen Thi Van Anh (Ms), Planning Section, UNICEF Viet Nam +844 942 5706, ext 308
or 091 278 9844 or




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