Vietnam is very well placed within Asia in terms of the general progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), said United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative a.i. in Vietnam Terence D. Jones on October 21.
“Vietnam is doing very well”, he told the Vietnam News Agency, factoring in that Vietnam had, before the COVID-19 impacts, moved into the middle-income status.
“Given its developing country status, that’s very encouraging,” he said on the sidelines of the Launching Workshop of National Report 2020: “Five-year Progress of Sustainable Development Goals Implementation” held in Hanoi.
The report shows Vietnam has made progress across all 17 SDGs, he noted, adding that by 2030, the country would be likely to achieve five out of 17 SDGs, which include SDG 1 – No Poverty, SDG 2 – Zero Hunger, SDG 4 – Quality Education, SDG 13 – Climate Actions, and SDG 17 on global partnerships.
There has been good progress towards reaching some goals, but in a few others, there are difficulties, he said, adding “but what we notice is that in some of those goals, the same difficulties arise in many countries.”
He highly spoke of the way the Government of Vietnam is internalising its efforts and monitoring progress to decide how to invest more in making improvements, especially where there are still the gaps.
The UNDP Representative held that it would be challenging for Vietnam to accelerate the realisation of the SDGs over the next ten years, also known as the Decade of Action.
But the fact that the government has incorporated the SDGs in its own Socio-economic Development Plans for the next five and ten years is the most important signal for that Vietnam is likely to make progress, he stated.
Also, “the government has plans to make sure it is also implemented at the provincial level, so it filters down in a very real way to local decision makers as well, to use this as part of their planning process,” Jones said.
Outlining several recommendations for Vietnam, the UNDP Resident Representative emphasised that data is the most important, because that’s “how we measure progress, and to make sure that we have real time feedback on where we need to make further improvements.”
He suggested Vietnam make the best use of the available resources. The UNDP is working with the Ministry of Planning and Investment on “a financing framework” that looks into how to make better use of the resources Vietnam has both in terms of the budget, as well as in the private sector and in society, he unveiled.
Vietnam needs to mobilise more and more support from the international community to invest in what it is trying to achieve, he continued. He also called on the government to improve governance systems through digitalisation and to engage social organisations and the private sector to play their part in achieving the goals.
According to the National Report 2020, Vietnam’s ranking has been on the rise over the last five years. Last year, the country ranked 49th out of 166 countries on performance in SDG implementation, five places higher than the 2019 ranking.
Seventeen global SDGs have been nationalised into 115 Vietnam SDGs (VSDGs) in its “National Action Plan for Implementation of Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development” based on the country’s development context and priorities.