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Mainstreaming ethic minority development goals with 2016-2020 SEDP to reduce disparities

29 tháng 1 2015

  • Ha Noi, 29 January 2015 - Although Viet Nam has made significant achievements in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the development rate of ethnic minority communities remains low and disparities remain, the Annual Ethnic Minority Development Forum heard today in Ha Noi. The Forum, attended by National Assembly Ethnic Minority Council Vice Chairman Mr. Danh Ut, Committee of Ethnic Minority Affairs (CEMA) Vice Chairman Mr. Son Phuoc Hoan and United Nations Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Dr. Pratibha Mehta, also heard that the poverty rate of ethnic minorities accounted 56% of the country's poor households. Ethnic minorities also have difficulties in accessing basic services, such as those for healthcare, clean water and education. The child mortality rate among minorities is twice that of Kinh people and the malnutrition rate of ethnic minority underweight (33%) contrasts with the national average of 15.3%.

The forum, an annual event since 2008 attended by representatives of development partners and civil society, policy-makers and ethnic minority representatives, is an important platform to exchange information, connect multiple related stakeholders and contribute to development-oriented policies related to ethnic minority. This year forum focused on identifying ethnic minority development disparities with solutions to be fed into the 2016-2020 socio-economic development (SEDP) and sector plans.

"There is a lack of synchronization between policies and disparities in the policy development process due to a lack of comments from relevant ministries, local and beneficiaries. Policies lack distinctive regional, ethnic and beneficiaries’ characteristics. Hence, implementation has not met the urgent needs of ethnic minorities,” said Mr. Ut. He also stressed that "we need to develop a comprehensive synchronized policy framework instead of making multiple national target programmes, policies and projects."

Mr. Hoan said rapid economic development have created impetus to reduce poverty and improve social welfare. However, ethnic minorities have been left behind and government ministries should take action.

"An action plan specifically for ethnic minority communities, using the MDG Acceleration Framework consistent with the economic development strategy of the country," he said. Mr. Hoan also proposed a mechanism to coordinate, monitor and evaluate the implementation of these goals between ministries, sectors and localities.

The UN Resident Coordinator welcomed the government’s commitment and the development of the action plan to set out the priorities for ethnic minority development as "a central theme of the 2016-2020 SEDP" in the context of sustainable development goals – Post 2015. “Viet Nam might address the tendencies towards inequality which emerge as countries grow and develop, and are especially strong in middle-income country (MIC). International experience and Vietnam’s experience from the early stages of doi moi show that it is possible to avoid a trade-off between equity and efficiency. The developmental gaps between ethnic minorities and the majority are not inevitable and can be closed by greater inclusion of minorities in the country’s socio-economic and political life. The key is to recognize the productive value of diversity. In turn, the national economy can be grown through enhancing all peoples’ capacity to seize new development opportunities and unlock their full potential,” said Dr Mehta.

At the forum, participants also shared models for effective internal capacity strengthening for communities and proposed best practices into programmes and policies to reduce poverty and support ethnic minority for 2016-2020. The models encompassed a community ownership model to integrate funds to support localities and mobilize internal resources of ethnic minority communities, community-based forest management and benefit-sharing mechanisms with people.

For more information:

Nguyen Thi Nga, Poverty Reduction Program, Committee for Ethnic Minorities Affairs,

 Tel: (84-4) 37349843, email:


Phan Huong Giang, United Nations Communication Team, 

Tel: (84-4) 38224383 x119, email:

Phan Huong Giang

Climate Change & Environment Media and Communications Analyst

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