State President Nguyen Minh Triet has recognized the great contributions made by the elderly and communities of ethnic minority people in the Central Highlands in the former struggle for independence and towards current socio-economic development.
The State leader delivered his comments at a conference to honor 243 noted elderly citizens from 24 ethnic minority groups in the region, held in Pleiku, Gia Lai province, on March 30.
He called on the elderly to uphold their positions and use their influence in their communities to encourage locals to boost production and abide by the laws in an effort to improve living conditions.
“People should remain alert regarding ill-intentioned individuals, trying to entice you to sabotage national unity; we must all work together to ensure social stability and sustainable growth,” said the Head of State.
The elderly should play a vanguard role in maintaining and promoting the cultural identity of different ethnic groups, concluded Triet.
The Central Highlands economy has grown significantly over the past 34 years, with the growth tempo double that of the national average, reported the conference.
Notable is agriculture production, as the region has now expanded to 200,000 ha of rice, 450,000 ha of coffee, 120,000 ha of rubber, 117,000 ha of tea, more than 100,000 ha of cashews and 15,000 ha of pepper.
Resultantly, the region has emerged as the largest industrial crop producer in the nation.
The poverty alleviation program has made huge progress, bringing the poverty rate down to 23.72 percent at present, from over 80 percent in 1975, and in eliminating chronic hunger.
Children from ethnic minority groups are provided with the opportunity to attend school and access to medical check-ups and treatment.
The region has succeeded in preserving and promoting the cultural identity of different ethnic minorities, leading to UNESCO recognizing the Gong culture as a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.”