|Ms. Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of UNDP Crisis Bureau, co-chaired the event.
The National Steering Committee on overcoming post-war Unexploded Ordnance and Toxic Chemical Consequences (Steering Committee 701), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) jointly organized the high-level side event "Viet Nam: Overcoming war legacies, endeavour for peace and sustainable development".
Senior Lieutenant-General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Viet Nam's Deputy Minister of Defence, Head of the Standing Committee of the Steering Committee 701, and Ms. Asako Okai, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of UNDP Crisis Bureau, co-chaired the event.
Presenters at the seminar were Mr. Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to the United Nations, and Ms. Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative a.i in Viet Nam. Representatives of relevant ministries and branches of Viet Nam; missions and military attachés of ASEAN countries; representatives from UN Agencies and international centres, permanent missions to the United Nations, and countries’ development agencies attended the high-level side event.
At the event, the Vietnamese delegation's presentations highlighted reconstruction and peacebuilding, Viet Nam's efforts in overcoming consequences contamination with Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) and dioxin, as well as Viet Nam’s participation in UN peacekeeping activities. The Vietnamese delegation emphasized that the consequences of the war were still very heavy. Overcoming the consequences of war, such as addressing contamination with landmines, ERW and dioxin, locating soldiers’ remains, and supporting victims of war, are of great concern to the Vietnamese Government and people. Protecting people’s lives and safety and clearing the land for sustainable socio-economic development are high priorities.
The UNDP study “Leaving No One Behind: Mine Action and the Sustainable Development Goals” shows the direct links between mine action and a range of SDGs. With international support, Viet Nam has achieved some important results in overcoming the consequences of war, a prerequisite towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda. In addition, Viet Nam has started taking part in UN peacekeeping activities. All these efforts contribute to promoting the socio-economic development, reducing poverty of locally impacted communities, while strengthening relations between Viet Nam and the UN.
The presentations at the event also highlighted the difficulties and challenges of Viet Nam, especially the limited domestic resources. More resources need to be mobilized to ensure the complete resolution of the war legacies. Viet Nam is also ready to share its experience in mine action with other countries.
Participants appreciated Viet Nam's efforts in overcoming the consequences of war and participation in UN peacekeeping activities. They also recognized the cooperation Viet Nam has with a number of countries and international organisations in addressing ERW contamination, as well as the effective partnership in mine action for sustainable development between Viet Nam and UNDP.
Noting the difficulties and challenges that Viet Nam still faces in overcoming the consequences of war, delegates expressed continued support to Viet Nam in dealing with the war legacies, bringing peace and prosperity to locally impacted communities, and contributing to peace and sustainable prosperity all over the world.
The UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Viet Nam shared an overview of UNDP’s partnership with the Government of Viet Nam in clearing post-war UXO and the linkages to the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. With support from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), the Korea-Vietnam mine action project takes a fully integrated approach in applying the pillars of mine action, from survey/clearance and information management to mine risk education, victim assistance and policy development. During the first year, this project has completed the survey of 4,600 hectares in Quang Binh and Binh Dinh provinces and large areas were confirmed as contaminated. The project will continue to work on eliminating ERW to ensure the safety of people and their access to basic social facilities, such as medical clinics and schools, as well as land for cultivation and livelihood development.
The Steering Committee 701 and UNDP also exhibited images of achievements in post-war recovery and Viet Nam’s participation in UN peacekeeping activities at the high-level side event.