» UNESCO lays the groundwork for closer collaboration with Ho Chi Minh City
26.08.2017 - ODG

UNESCO lays the groundwork for closer collaboration with Ho Chi Minh City

Vietnam’s largest city requires more skilled human resources and creativity to move towards a knowledge-based economy, asserted Mr Nguyen Thin Nhan, Member of the Politburo and Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, during a meeting with UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova on 26 August 2017.

Thanking the Director-General for UNESCO’s strong support to the development of Viet Nam, Mr Nhan evoked some of the social challenges that have accompanied the rapid economic growth of this city of 9 million people, ranging from the provision of education and healthcare services to air and water pollution.  The meeting explored opportunities for strengthened collaboration around education and skills, cultural industries and climate change mitigation. 

“Human resources have been key to our development. Now our focus is on building the capacity to become a knowledge-based economy and to catch up with the region in terms of our labour force, “ said Mr Nhan, referring to the forthcoming adoption of a Smart City Project that will promote connectivity, online education and citizen participation. 

Having visited several emblematic historical sites in and around Ho Chi Minh City prior to the meeting, the Director-General expressed praise for “the passionate dedication of the Vietnamese people for independence against aggression and their incredible will to move towards prosperity, growth and inclusion.” She concurred that innovation, creativity and the development of human capital were key to building knowledge societies. 

In the light of  the National Strategy for the Development of Cultural Industries in Viêt Nam toward 2020, Ms Bokova also encouraged Ho Chi Minh City to consider joining the UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, noting the contribution of culture to social cohesion, development and job creation. Mr Nanh warmly welcomed the suggestion, noting the ambition to learn from other cities and to share expertise. 

In response to concerns expressed by Mr Nanh on the rising sea level and water salination in Ho Chi Minh City, the Director-General pledged to mobilize UNESCO’s expertise and platforms, noting the potential for expanded collaboration in this area.   Mr Nanh also conveyed the city’s pride to count the nearby Can Gio as one of Viet Nam’s nine biosphere reserves, and assured of his resolve to comply with UNESCO’s practices for its sustainable management. 

Prior to the meeting, Ms Bokova toured the extensive complex of Cu Chi Tunnels that is a lasting symbol of Viêt Nam’s determination and resilience during times of struggle for national independence and reunification. She also visited both the Reunification Palace and the Ho Chi Minh Museum, where she paid tribute to the remarkable achievements of the founding father of modern Viêt Nam, whose birth centenary was celebrated by UNESCO in 1990 with a special resolution.




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