THE UN GLOBAL JOINT SDG FUND – DONORS MEETING United Nations Joint Programme Accelerating Viet Nam’s Transition Toward Inclusive and Integrated Social Protection

Opening Remarks by Kamal Malhotra United Nations Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam

As delivered

  • Representatives of the Government, Embassies and development partners
  • Dear Colleagues and Friends

It is a pleasure for me to welcome you to this UN Global Joint Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Fund – Donors meeting on the UN Joint Program which aims at accelerating Viet Nam’s Transition Toward Inclusive and Integrated Social Protection.

The purpose of this event is for the UN joint team to share knowledge and progress of the joint SDG programme in supporting reform of the social protection system and response to the most vulnerable groups in Viet Nam, as well as to make the our joint contribution more visible by reinforcing our joint cooperation with both the donors to the UN and our implementing partners in Viet Nam. Hence, your presence in this meeting is appreciated and will be useful for us to discuss the progress made thus far as well as for us to identify and assess crucial findings and recommendations and identify the way forward to ensure a shock-resilient, inclusive social protection system for Viet Nam.

I am especially grateful that we were able to gather face-to-face today, given the COVID-19 circumstances. COVID-19 has also been a reason for a partial repurposing of this joint UN programme’s activities in 2020 to provide rapid support to the government in support of social protection response to the COVID-19 shock.

This Joint Programme is a UN initiative emanating from the global Joint SDG Pooled Fund made possible by UN member states and an EU contribution. It is an innovative global mechanism established to enable the United Nations to address the challenges of our time and support joint programmes in countries in order to drive transformation, systemic policy shifts and to deliver solutions that accelerate SDG progress and yield social impact across the whole spectrum of the SDGs with the spotlight on vulnerable groups left behind.

Among the different streams under this Joint SDG Fund, this particular Joint Programme on Social Protection was initially earmarked equally for 30 countries for a total amount of US$60 million with emphasis on the most vulnerable and marginalized people such as children, women, adolescents, people living with disabilities, and older persons. Viet Nam was provided with US$2 million from this joint fund stream to implement this joint programme during 2020-2021.

The UN Viet Nam Joint Programme which was made possible by this Global Joint SDG Fund contributed by Member States, international organizations, the private sector and philanthropic individuals including Sweden, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Luxemburg, Germany, Ireland, Monaco, Portugal, and the European Union together contributed the US$290 million agreed in the UN General Assembly's approved Resolution on UN Development System Reform. This is a testimony and embodiment of Member States’ commitments to international cooperation and global solidarity that is now needed more than ever before.

This Global Joint SDG Fund project on social protection in Viet Nam involves four UN agencies: ILO, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP, under my leadership as Resident Coordinator. It is jointly implemented with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs as the key national implementing partner to help reform and bring coherence to the social protection system. Our work with government partners focuses on the importance of the life-cycle approach which, if implemented, can provide comprehensive social protection to the people of Viet Nam. Our agencies work on system change in policy design and social assistance programming and they will soon present and share their experiences with you during our meeting this morning. But let me assure you that UN agencies are jointly implementing a programme that advocates for the quality expansion of social protection coverage so that every child, every mother, every elderly person and every worker can benefit.

Allow me to reiterate and emphasize that the results we have achieved so far must be built on not only in 2021 but well beyond that time, and that we need to redouble our efforts with more ambitious goals and commitments to accelerate SDG achievement as we recover from COVID-19.

On behalf of the UN Country Team and especially four participating UN agencies, I wish to acknowledge the support from your countries as well as our implementing partners from different departments of MOLISA and other national agencies such as the Viet Nam Women’s Union, Viet Nam Social Security and Ministry of Planning and Investment. I also call for your continued commitment and partnership.

The following presentations and plenary discussions on the joint programme should provide you with details of the results achieved and provide real human interest stories. Please view this event as merely a start. We expect more positive results and positive human stories as the programme progresses.

Thank you for being here with us today. Xin cảm ơn!

Speech by
Kamal Malhotra
UN Resident Coordinator
KM profile
UN entities involved in this initiative
International Labor Organization
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund