Paris, 1 December—Nguyen Tan Dung, Prime Minister of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam paid an official visit to UNESCO Headquarters on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Organization. This is the first ever visit to UNESCO by a Vietnamese Head of Government since this Member State joined the Organization in 1951.
Welcoming the Prime Minister to UNESCO, the Organization’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, recognized Viet Nam’s longstanding tradition of investing in education, science, culture and communication as powerful tools for inclusive sustainable development.
“Viet Nam has a key role to play in promoting intercultural dialogue, respect for diversity and building a culture of peace for social cohesion, especially in the context of ASEAN integration,” said the Director-General who also congratulated Viet Nam for its recent election as a Member of UNESCO’s Executive Board and praised its active membership of the World Heritage Committee.
Ms Bokova also thanked the Prime Minister for Vietnam’s recent organization of a national ceremony in Ha Noi to mark the 70th anniversary of UNESCO and the 5th anniversary of the inscription of the Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long-Ha Noi on the World Heritage List.
Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung expressed strong appreciation for UNESCO’s fruitful cooperation with Viet Nam stressing and stressed the importance of sustainable development for his country. He furthermore voiced his Government’s determination to work closely with UNESCO in implementing the 17 goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda that fall within the Organization’s mandate.
These Sustainable Development Goals have already become part of Viet Nam’s national development plan, the Prime Minister said. He stressed that education is an absolute national priority and that science should be at the vanguard of development with culture as its foundation.
At the end of their bilateral meeting, the Prime Minister attended the signing by the Director-General and Ha Kim Ngoc, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Viet Nam and UNESCO for the 2016 to 2020 period. The MOU foresees increased activities in the Organization’s fields of competence in Viet Nam.
The Director-General said that the Memorandum represents a comprehensive vision of sustainable development aligned with the challenges of eradicating poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all. The Prime Minister affirmed that the sound implementation of the Memorandum will mark a concrete contribution to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for a world of peace, security and sustainable development.