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Anti-corruption charge in Vietnam commended

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Vietnam’s intensified crackdown on corruption has continued to draw praise from the international community.

1490p2 anti corruption charge in vietnam commended

Last week, news of the Vietnamese government’s ongoing success in combating corruption was revealed via the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) releasing its annual Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI), a policy monitoring tool assessing citizen experiences and satisfaction with government performance at the national and sub-national levels in governance, public administration and public service delivery.

PAPI 2019 data surveyed more than 14,000 citizens from all 63 provinces nationwide, and a UNDP press release stated that in 2019, “the greatest progress was made in the dimension on enhancing control of corruption in the public sector (which is most strongly correlated with overall citizen satisfaction) and increasing transparency in local decision-making. This matches well-documented reform efforts spearheaded by the high-profile anti-corruption campaign.”

The press release went on to pay tribute to Vietnam’s efforts. “Tackling corruption has been a centrepiece of the Party and government efforts, with numerous high-profile investigations over the last few years,” it said. “Consequently, the 2019 PAPI report reflects the clear impact of this anti-corruption campaign on perceptions of grand and petty corruption. This dimension saw the strongest improvements in 2019 at commune and national levels – with 5 per cent more respondents than in 2018 reporting that corruption was decreasing.”

According to the PAPI 2019, while the anti-corruption drive is changing perceptions, there is continued evidence of significant declines in petty corruption, as experienced by citizens in district level public hospitals and when applying for land use right certificates.

While control of corruption scores has improved, a substantial number of respondents (20-45 per cent) continue to perceive corruption as prevalent in the public sector. This suggests that further efforts are needed to address this problem in the coming years.

Vietnam’s anti-corruption campaign was intensified years ago with 2012’s Resolution No.12-NQ/TW of the fourth Central Party Committee Meeting, which targeted improved morality within the Party.

Party General Secretary, State President Nguyen Phu Trong emphasised in a speech in December last year that the campaign would continue into 2020, and several high-profile investigations in 2019 confirm the campaign continues.

The government has also issued directives targeted at reducing petty corruption facing businesses and citizens, such as the prime minister’s Directive No.10/CT-TTg on strengthening effective management and prevention of harassment and problems for people and businesses in working performance.

Last week, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc ordered a comprehensive investigation over the public procurement of healthcare equipment nationwide, after a related scandal was uncovered in Hanoi.

Investigators from the Ministry of Public Security reported that Nguyen Nhat Cam, director of Hanoi’s Centre for Disease Control, and his accomplices had increased the purchase price for a COVID-19 test kit package by three times, or VND4.7 billion (over $204,000).

PM Phuc recently instructed the Government Inspectorate to launch an urgent investigation into the observance of legal regulations regarding the recent state management of rice exports.

The inspection aims to identify whether or not there are any signs of profiteering or other negative acts taking place, and to strictly handle them in accordance with the law.

In fact, Vietnam was also extolled by the international community for its fight against corruption. The UNDP’s PAPI 2017 revealed significant improvements in five of the six PAPI dimensions compared to 2016. These are ‘Transparency’, ‘Vertical accountability’, ‘Control of corruption in the public sector’, ‘Public administrative procedures’, and ‘Public service delivery’.

Caitlin Wiesen – Resident representative, UNDP in Vietnam

1490p2 anti corruption charge in vietnam commended

One of the most important topics being discussed globally today is the wellbeing of people, the responsiveness of governments and public trust in government efforts in combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vietnamese government has been praised by citizens and the international community for being anticipatory, agile, and adaptive to effectively curb the outbreak. This is what we call “triple A” governance.

The strong leadership, and rapid and transparent measures with priorities placed on public safety have been identified as key factors to boost public trust and support in the government and country leaders.

The PAPI research is focused on the same governance principles. The PAPI index highlights the value of citizen engagement and their ability to assess provincial governance and public administration efficiency in responding to the needs and expectations of the people.

Over the last 10 years, the PAPI index has collected and analysed the views and experiences of over 130,000 Vietnamese citizens to assess government efforts in promoting grassroots democracy, public administration reform, control of corruption, accountability, transparency, and environmental protection. These are all crucial efforts to help Vietnam achieve sustainable development.

The 2019 PAPI report contains many findings, but let me highlight three which I found particularly interesting this year.

First, over the two government terms from 2011 to 2019, provincial governance performance has gradually improved. The average provincial scores on the six initial dimensions have increased from 34.5 points in 2011 to 37.4 points in 2019. Virtually all provinces have seen positive annual improvements.

In particular, we have seen the most significant improvements in the areas of control of corruption (which is most strongly correlated with overall citizen satisfaction) and transparency in local decision-making. This is a testament to the strong commitment of central and local leaders to improve governance. Building on these improvements, we encourage them to continue to drive these reforms forward.

Second, the PAPI findings in 2019 continue to call for long-term attention to the nexus between economic growth, poverty reduction, and environmental protection. Despite Vietnam’s rapid growth rate in recent years, poverty reduction has topped the list of most important concerns while jobs and employment have remained in the top four since 2015.

In 2019, poverty was cited by nearly one quarter of PAPI respondents as the most important concern. Citizens without social insurance were more concerned about slipping into poverty and those in the agriculture sector expressed less satisfaction with their household economic situation.

Interestingly, the environment has made it back into the top three citizen concerns in 2019. As Vietnam prepares to move to the COVID-19 recovery phase, the vulnerable population might be even more concerned about poverty and job losses caused by the pandemic. The PAPI survey in 2020 will include questions related to the virus’ impact to timely reflect citizens’ concerns and guide policy responses.

Third, the 2019 PAPI report shows that further streamlining of administrative procedures and fostering e-governance should be prioritised in the government reform agenda. Respondents have reported that efforts to streamline administrative procedures and implement “one stop shops” have been less impactful for citizens than for businesses. VIR

Nguyen Dat

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/politics/anti-corruption-charge-in-vietnam-commended-638962.html

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Vietnamese ambassador runs for re-election to International Law Commission

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In 2016, Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao became the first Vietnamese to be elected as an International Law Commission (ILC) member.

Vietnam’s permanent missions to the United Nations (UN) in New York and Geneva have recently sent diplomatic notes to the UN and countries informing the candidacy of Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao to the International Law Commission (ILC) for the 2023-2027 tenure, marking the official start of the Vietnamese candidate’s campaign for re-election to the UN’s important law organ.

Vietnamese ambassador runs for re-election to International Law Commission hinh anh 1

Ambassador Nguyen Hong Thao (Photo: VNA)

In 2016, Ambassador Thao became the first Vietnamese to be elected as an ILC member. During the 2017-2022 tenure, he actively promoted ILC’s research results, delivered speeches and joined discussions at the ILC.

He also helped express developing nations’ interest in new and non-traditional topics, and actively joined in discussions on topics such as protection of the atmosphere and environmental protection in armed conflicts. Most notably, he strongly supported the ILC’s research on rising seawater level and the addition of the issue to the committee’s long-term working agenda.

With an in-depth knowledge about laws on the sea and the environment, he made significant contributions to the first report of the research group on rising sea level in relation to international law last year. 

Apart from valuable professional contributions, Thao also played a role in fostering connections and ties among ILC members to promote exchange between legal researchers and practitioners of international law at home and abroad. He was also speakers at many universities and prestigious seminars in the region. In 2018, he was elected as the second Vice Chairman of the ILC on the occasion of its 70th founding anniversary.

With dedication to the progress of international law, he was nominated for a seat at the ILC for the 2023-2027 tenure, becoming one of the 10 candidates of the Asia-Pacific. The ILC election will take place in New York in November 2021.

Ambassador Thao is a senior Vietnamese diplomat with 40 years of experience. He earned a doctorate degree on law from the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne and is now also teaching international law at the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam./.VNA

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/politics/vietnamese-ambassador-runs-for-re-election-to-international-law-commission-715583.html

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Vietnam considers reopening repatriation flights

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Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has directed relevant offices to discuss with partners in countries with high safety factor about the resumption of commercial flights.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working with relevant ministries, sectors, localities and offices to make plans to repatriate Vietnamese citizens in a safe manner based on the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world and the country, especially the domestic quarantine capacity, according to Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang.

Vietnam considers reopening repatriation flights hinh anh 1

Bringing Vietnamese citizens home (Photo: VNA)

She made the statement on February 25 when responding to reporters’ queries on Vietnam’s plan to reopen repatriation flights, after the Vietnamese Government suspended flights bringing Vietnamese people back home in late January, given the appearance of new variants of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, new outbreaks in many countries, and complicated developments of the pandemic in Vietnam.

She informed that recently, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has directed relevant offices to discuss with partners in countries with high safety factor about the resumption of commercial flights.

Several partners have expressed their wish to resume commercial flights with Vietnam, and Vietnam’s aviation agencies are considering and discussing specific procedures and dates, she added./. VNA

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/politics/vietnam-considers-reopening-repatriation-flights-715585.html

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Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson shares information about vaccination plan

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The Foreign Ministry’s Press Department is discussing with the Health Ministry to make it easier for foreign reporters to cover news about vaccination for Vietnamese citizens in line with prevention and control regulations.

Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson shares information about vaccination plan hinh anh 1

AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry Le Thi Thu Hang shared information about COVID-19 vaccination plan in Vietnam during a regular press conference which took place virtually on February 25.

She said Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc assigned the Government Office and Health Ministry to soon submit a Resolution on vaccination and priority groups to him. At a meeting of the permanent members of the Government and the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control on February 24 morning, the Health Ministry gave its first proposal regarding priority cases, firstly front-line staff in the fight against the pandemic, including medical staff, staff of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control at all levels and those at quarantine sites, press and diplomatic staff, customs and immigration officers, army and public security forces, teachers and those aged above 65, suppliers of key services in the fields of aviation, transportation and tourism, electricity and water services; people with chronic diseases and those wishing to work and study abroad, those in pandemic-hit areas and others in line with the Government’s regulations.

She said the proposal must wait for the Prime Minister’s decision and the Government’s Resolution.

About vaccine suppliers, she said the Health Ministry and Vietnamese firms have been negotiating with vaccine manufacturers and suppliers in the world, including COVAX Facility, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Sputnik V to provide vaccination for people as soon as possible.

On February 24, the first batch of vaccines, including 117,600 doses provided by AstraZeneca, arrived in Vietnam, she said, adding that the country is focusing on studying and producing vaccines at home. At present, the study and trial is on schedule.

Vietnam wants to access quality vaccines at reasonable prices which could be preserved under Vietnam’s conditions, she said./.VNA

Source: https://vietnamnet.vn/en/politics/foreign-ministry-s-spokesperson-shares-information-about-vaccination-plan-715587.html

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