Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính meets UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russel in New York on May 16 (US time). — Photo from the Việt Nam Government Portal
NEW YORK — Prime Minister Phạm Minh Chính said Việt Nam cherished cooperation with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) over the past 40 years and its contributions to global efforts protecting and caring for children.
He made the remarks while meeting with UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russel in New York on May 16 (local time) as part of his trip to the US.
The Vietnamese PM noted that from a sole recipient of humanitarian assistance, Việt Nam had become a trusted partner of the UN and UNICEF on many fronts.
Việt Nam supported UNICEF Strategic Plan for 2022-25 towards 2030, including the emphasis on children’s rights such as every child has the right to study and life skills, to be protected from abuse and violence, to get access to clean water, hygiene and safe environment, etc. – all of which are also the goals Việt Nam are striving towards.
PM Chính thanks UNICEF for the active help for the country especially in the face of COVID-19 pandemic, including the transportation and donation of dozens of millions of COVID-19 vaccines via COVAX mechanisms as well as medical supplies to help raise immunisation capacity.
The PM informed the UN official that Việt Nam had achieved 84 per cent vaccine coverage of the population, with nearly 100 per cent of people from 12 years old and above fully vaccinated, thanks in part to UNICEF and development partners’ help in the development of the national expanded immunisation system.
The country was currently rolling out vaccinations for children in 5-11 age group and welcomed UNICEF’s support in this issue.
The Vietnamese Government leader highly valued the major cooperation agendas in Việt Nam-UNICEF cooperation plan 2022-26, saying that they are in line with the Government’s priorities – especially in issues such as climate change, disease response, gender equality, children’s protection.
He said Việt Nam was donating US$100,000 to UNICEF as part of the humanitarian assistance worth $500,000 to Ukraine.
Catherine Russell expressed her delight at the close and effective cooperation between UNICEF and Việt Nam over the past four decades, highly appreciating socio-economic achievements and achieving the sustainable development goals in the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UNICEF chief especially welcomed and highly appreciated Việt Nam's cross-cutting guidelines and policies on the care and protection of children's rights in national programmes and action plans, including items like educational rights and welfare of children in mountainous, remote and isolated areas, and improving child nutrition.
She said that UNICEF would continue to actively implement the Việt Nam-UNICEF 2022-26 Country Programme to meet the priorities of Việt Nam. UNICEF would accompany the organisations in the COVAX initiative to continue to support Việt Nam in responding to COVID-19, especially in the supply of vaccines and domestic production of vaccines, contributing to the protection and bringing a better life for Vietnamese people, especially children, against pandemic. — VNS