HA NOI, VIETNAM - Media OutReach - 15 September 2023 – On behalf of the National Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the Vietnamese people, I am pleased to warmly welcome the President, the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), the President of the IPU Board of the Forum of Young Parliamentarians, member and observer parliamentary delegations, and invited guests to the the 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians held in Hanoi - the city for peace, the capital of thousands of years of Vietnamese culture.
Vietnam proposed the initiative and was very honoured and proud to be chosen by the IPU as the host country of the 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians. Inheriting the success of the 132nd IPU Assembly in 2015, the 26th Annual Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) in 2016, and the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA) in 2020, the Vietnamese National Assembly's hosting of this event continues to affirm Vietnam's active and responsible participation in the IPU. At the same time, it shows Vietnam's priority and concern for young people and global current issues of the youth.
After 37 years of implementing Doi Moi (Renewal) process, since 1986, Vietnam has gained important, comprehensive and historically significant achievements. Vietnam has obtained miracles in building new-style rural areas and sustainable poverty reduction, being a bright spot in implementing the Millennium Goals and the UN Sustainable Development Agenda (SDGs) towards 2030, and has committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. The country's annual economic growth reaches a high level of about 6 per year. The scale of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022 at current prices ranked 38th in the world. Based on purchasing power parity (PPP), according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Vietnam ranks 10th in Asia and 24th in the world. Total import-export turnover in 2022 topped nearly US$735 billion, making Vietnam among top 20 countries with the largest foreign trade turnover in the world. Vietnam has also been successful in attracting Foreign Direct Investment with so far more than 37,000 investment projects from 143 countries and territories worth a registered capital of nearly $450 billion.
Vietnam has made efforts to realise two 100-year goals:
By 2030 which falls on the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, Vietnam looks to become a developing country with a modern industrial base and middle-income population; and by 2045, which falls on the 100th anniversary of the country's establishment, Vietnam will be a developed and high-income country.
We are entering the third decade of the 21st century with countless unpredictable events. For the first time, the whole world experienced the COVID-19 pandemic with unprecedented scale and incurring losses far exceeding all predictions. It can be said that never before has the political, economic and international security environment faced so many difficulties and challenges at the same time as today. The persistent and complex impact of the pandemic, combined with geopolitical tensions and conflicts, competition, strategic separation, fluctuations and instability in the food, energy, financial and monetary markets, decline in investment, disruption of supply chains have erased many achievements of poverty reduction and development over the past decades. These all have posed enormous, multi-dimensional difficulties, both in the immediate and long term for many countries around the world. The implementation of the UN's SDGs is slowing down, making it difficult to complete the goals. In addition, non-traditional security issues, especially the negative impacts of climate change, are directly affecting the people, security and development of every country.
But we still have the right to be optimistic and hopeful about the future. Peace, cooperation and development are still the main flow and big trend. The world has overcome the pandemic. The pandemic does not make us collapse, but makes us more united and stronger. The trends of digital transformation, green transformation and innovation are being widely promoted. While globalisation faces difficulties, a series of new economic linkage and cooperation initiatives at both regional and global levels continue to be accelerated. A world without war and a society without hunger and poverty are a wish and a common goal of global cooperation efforts.
With the theme "The Role of Young People in Promoting the Realisation of Sustainable Development Goals via Digital Transformation and Innovations " and thematic discussion sessions on digital transformation, innovation and entrepreneurship and promoting respect for cultural diversity for sustainable development, I recommend delegates discuss the content as follows:
First, what needs to be done and how to comply with and ensure international law and the UN Charter, which serves as a key condition to preserve and cultivate peace, cooperation and sustainable development?
Second, the role of developed countries, international organisations, the business community and young people in addressing global issues, for example, sustainable and safe digital transformation; equitable energy transition, adaptation to climate change and strong diffusion of entrepreneurship and innovation.
Third, in order to make people and businesses to truly be the centre of all decisions in the development process, both the goal, the driving force and the basic resource in all resources, what and how do we need to continue to do in planning, implementing laws and organising actions towards the happiness of the people?
Fourth, promoting cultural and human values in sustainable development, promoting respect for cultural diversity in the context of the 4th industrial revolution; tightening cooperation in innovating ways to operate the economy, sharply increasing labour productivity, creating new driving forces for economic growth, and at the same time, helping State agencies operate more transparently, effectively on the digitalisation roadmap, to narrow the development gap and ensure national sovereignty as well as personal privacy in cyberspace.
Fifth, I suggest that IPU research and establish a network of global young parliamentarians on innovation to exchange and learn from each other's experience.
Late President Ho Chi Minh - the genius leader of the Vietnamese people and the world cultural celebrity - used the image of spring - the most beautiful season of the year to describe the youth: "A year begins in the spring. A life begins in youth. Youth is the spring of society". He also said: "Youth are the future owners of the country. In-deed, prosperity or decline, strength or weak-ness of the country all come from youth."
Youth and young people are the force taking on the mission and historical responsibility in the integration and development of each country and the common prosperity of the world. I believe that every young parliamentarian from member parliaments will promote their intelligence, youth, creativity, responsibility and enthusiasm to actively contribute to the success of the conference.
With that strong belief, I would like to declare the opening of the 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians.
Wishing you good health and happiness.
Wishing the young parliamentarians have productive working days as well as interesting and memorable experience in our beautiful and hospitable country!