On September 24, 2016, Mr. Phạm Bình Minh, Deputy Prime Minister of Viet Nam, addressed the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-first session at the United Nations Headquarter in New York City. The full speech can be watched at this page: https://gadebate.un.org/en/71/viet-nam
The content of the speech is very good if people do not know about the real situation of the living conditions of the people in Vietnam. It is understandable that the tone in the speech has to be diplomacy, but it is kind of unfair for the people living in Vietnam if the Vietnamese government uses it to polish the regime and pockets the foreign aids by top government officers.
In the speech, Mr. Pham kept addressing and lecturing about using the International Law to resolve conflict and secure peace. If Vietnam really abides by the International Law, then the world, especially the UN agencies that care about freedom and human rights, would not condemn Vietnam for oppressing and violating the Human Rights of the people in Vietnam, especially the Indigenous Peoples in Vietnam, because their fundamental rights are guaranteed by the International Law which Vietnam ratified. Is it true that Vietnam only means about International Law when Vietnam has to deal with the South China Sea issues and forget about other International Laws?
Vietnam received billions of dollars from the UN and foreign aids to implement MDGs from 2001 to 2015. Look at the living conditions of the people in Vietnam now, especially the living condition of the indigenous peoples in Vietnam; the poor people are still poor and even poorer due to the inflation and having no jobs. Because of the corruptions, there are big gaps between the rich people who have are high rank officers or related to the government officers and the normal people who are struggling to work for foods every day.
Thousands of the people in Vietnam, who could afford to bride the government officers to become exported-worker, could get a job abroad. The indigenous peoples who don’t have money to bribe have to leave their villages to look for low pay jobs as servants or factory workers. These are just some examples of the achieving MDGs as a champion in Vietnam.
Due to the inefficient implementation of the MDGs in many countries, the Sustainable Development Goals had been introduced with 17 Goals and 169 targets in more details. The implementation of the SDGs would be monitored closely.
Once again, Mr. Pham praised about the SDG and did not forget to call on the developed countries to help the developing country like Vietnam because this will be another good chance for Vietnam to receive billions of dollars from the UN and foreign aids; especially the Mekong Delta is now facing the impact of the climate change. The world is helping the countries that are impact by climate changes. Vietnam is very active to show that it needs help so they can receive more foreign aids. It is time for the Khmer-Krom people in Mekong Delta to speak up, so they can get help because they are the people who are facing the impact, not the government officers living in the North of Vietnam.
Mr. Pham had a very good quote in his speech: “to transform the world, we must start with transforming ourselves to leave no one behind.” Before lecturing the world, Mr. Pham should focus to transform Vietnam to be a country that let people have the freedom to vote choosing their own leaders and party. The people in Vietnam should have the rights to form their associations freely. Their temple should not be demolished, just like the incident Lien Tri Pagoda in Sai Gon last week. The Buddhist monks should not be arrested, defrocked, and imprisoned, just like the cases of the Khmer-Krom Buddhist Monks, Venerable Thach Thuol and Venerable Lieu Ny who are still being imprisoned.
If the fundamental rights that the people in Vietnam do not even have it and those rights are guaranteed by most of the International Law, especially the SDG goal number 16 “Peace, Justice, and Strong Institution”, then Vietnamese government would leave millions of the people in Vietnam behind, and might be only the government officers would achieve the SDGs like what it had done with the MDGs.