Viet Nam News
ĐÀ NẴNG — The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are both objectives and a chance for lawmakers to show their commitment to improving people’s quality of life and protecting the planet, according to National Assembly (NA) chairwoman Nguyễn Thị Kim Ngân.
The Vietnamese top legislature affirmed that “sustainable development is an inevitable path of growth and a demand permeating all facets of socio-economic development” in her opening remarks at the conference on SDGs and the NA opened on Monday in Đà Nẵng.
“Việt Nam considers sustainability a priority task, considering the people and life quality central to all State policies and undertakings,” she said, stressing that elected representatives have a critical role, especially in improving the legal system, monitoring and deciding budget for the implementation of SDGs.
NA Chairwoman Ngân said in the last 15 years, since the completion of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the predecessor of the current 17 SDGs, Việt Nam’s parliament has contributed to reaching the goals by developing its legal framework on sustainable development, newly issuing and amending a total of 300 pieces of legislation and adopting a revised Constitution in 2013.
The NA has passed a national strategy on environmental protection and a resolution on promoting sustainable poverty reduction, as well as partake in the building of a national action plan to implement the SDGs.
Aside from exercising its “supreme supervision” function over the Government’s implementation of SDGs, the NA has contributed feedback on several programmes related to poverty alleviation, climate change adaptation and investment in grassroots healthcare, she added.
She said that to promote the implementation of SDGs and streamline them into legislation, the awareness of the lawmakers of their responsibilities and duties must improve.
Việt Nam pledges to mobilise all resources, including ministries, sectors, localities, and people to successfully implement the UN’s 2030 Agenda and sustainable development goals (SDGs), Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Vũ Đại Thắng has said.
The action plan outlines Việt Nam ’s 17 SDGs for 2030 with 115 specific targets that touch on 150 of the 169 global targets. Some are not included as they do not match the context and development level of Việt Nam.
Thắng said Việt Nam has already implemented a number of key activities, such as setting up an inter-agency working group on SDGs; as well as developing and joining the presentation of Việt Nam ’s voluntary national review report at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) of the UN in New York, the US.
The report has been highly appreciated by countries for its preparation of content and presentation, along with the development of an action plan, he noted.
To date, 10 ministries and 29 localities have issued action plans and built roadmaps which are expected to be submitted to the Prime Minister for approval this month, Thắng added.
In the future, more efforts will be made to raise public awareness and mobilise the participation of all stakeholders; continue to improve institutions and policies on sustainable development; develop guidelines to integrate SDGs into the socio-economic development plan; and guide the supervision and evaluation of SDGs, promulgating them throughout 2019.
He emphasised the biggest challenge is mobilising financial resources as there is currently no full report for implementing all SDGs in Việt Nam.
Green growth and response to climate change are considered key to achieving SDGs. According to estimates by the National Strategy on Climate Change and the Green Growth Strategy, Việt Nam needs 5 per cent of its annual GDP to cope with climate change and another 30 billion USD to achieve its green growth goals for 2030.
On behalf of the Vietnamese Government, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said the Government has crafted a national action plan to carry out the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
According to Đam, the Government has identified priority areas with regards to sustainable development, including enforcing environmental protection regulations, planting and protecting forests, formulating policies to encourage the development of renewable energy and green growth, implementing commitments on climate change response and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as sustainable use of cross-border water resources.
On social matters, the Government has put measures in place to boost socio-economic development in remote and ethnic minority areas, create equal opportunities and support women, children and vulnerable groups.
Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative to Việt Nam, expressed his delight at witnessing the country’s strong commitments to the SGDs and said the actions of the State and the NA have been warmly welcomed by the international community.
Emphasising the essential role of parliaments in following through on SDGs commitments, he said there’s a need to expand and deepen development partnerships instead of traditional aid benefactor-recipient relations.
Also at yesterday’s conference, Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Martin Chungong presented to NA Chairwoman Ngân the Vietnamese-language version of the self-assessment toolkit, produced by the IPU and the UNDP, which provides parliaments with the framework to engage on SDGs and determine good practices in implementing them.
The four-session conference will end tomorrow. — VNS