On the threshold of a New Year, President Tran Dai Quang called on all citizens to unite and work hard for a prosperous country and a better life for everyone.
|President Tran Dai Quang|
Addressing the nation on the eve of 2017, he highlighted some of the nation’s achievements in socio-economic development and international integration, and outlined opportunities and challenges that lay ahead.
He noted that 2016 was the first year that the Party, people and army were implementing the Resolution adopted at the 12th National Party Congress, which charted the path ahead, setting crucial targets and identifying key tasks for the 2016-2020 period.
In the context of a slow global economic recovery and many “complicated changes,” Viet Nam had overcome great difficulties in the first and second quarters of the year to regain momentum for recovery and development of production and business while maintaining macroeconomic stability.
While the gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate fell short of the set annual target, it remained among the highest in the region, he said.
“We have firmly and persistently fought to protect the country’s independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity, and maintain peace and stability. External relations and international integration have been deepened and expanded, contributing to enhancing Viet Nam’s position and prestige in the global arena.”
But there are challenges facing the country, including the risk of not being able to sustain macroeconomic stability, poor growth quality, slow pace of restructuring in major industries and sectors and low labour productivity compared to other countries in the region and the world, according to the President.
He also spoke of the hardships faced by people in remote areas and regions hit by floods, drought, saltwater intrusion and environmental pollution.
Referring to “complicated developments” in the East Sea, the President stressed that seas and islands are a sacred and indispensable part of the country. Firmly safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity is the responsibility and duty of each Vietnamese citizen, he said.
While Viet Nam’s rights and interests in the East Sea are recognized and protected by international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), the country must resolutely and persistently fight to defend national independence and sovereignty, while maintaining a peaceful and stable environment for national development. All disputes must be dealt with via peaceful means on the basis of respect for international law, he said.
"Building and safeguarding the country in the new situation requires that the entire nation and political system, with the people’s armed force playing the core role, prepares well in all aspects, maintains high combat readiness and avoids falling into a passive mode or being taken by surprise in any situation."
He stressed that strengthening the implementation of national defence and security tasks along, including comprehensively strengthening the armed forces, was a critical factor in effectively working for socio-economic development, international integration, and protection of national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
"Viet Nam has proactively and actively brought into play the diplomatic guidelines set by the 12th National Party Congress. Despite complicated regional and global developments, the external affairs sector has taken appropriate and synchronous measures in a timely manner," the President said.
He said Viet Nam continued to be a bright example of political stability and development potentials. The nation has pushed ahead with cementing and deepening friendship and cooperation with other countries and partners towards common sustainable development, he said.
Apart from playing an active role in building the ASEAN Community, Vietnam fulfilled its duties as a member of the UN Human Rights Council, UN Economic and Social Council, and UNESCO Executive Council. A Vietnamese diplomat was elected to the UN International Law Commission. The country also actively participated in and made significant contributions to multilateral forums, winning the appreciation of international friends, he said.
On the fight against corruption, wastefulness and other negative phenomena, Quang noted positive outcomes with serious corruption and economic violation cases brought to light. However, those results had not met set requirements and the public’s expectations, he said. For this, it would be necessary to build and implement tight management and supervision mechanisms to prevent and deter corruption, the President said.
He stressed that corrupt elements must be dealt with strictly without being affected by pressure from any organization or individual, and judicial authorities must coordinate closely with relevant agencies in other countries to promptly arrest criminals hiding abroad, ensure the law’s effectiveness and serve as a deterrence to others.
The President extended his best wishes to people and soldiers nationwide and overseas Vietnamese on the occasion of 2017 and the upcoming traditional Year of the Rooster.