Speech of Deputy Prime Minister Truong Vinh Trong to Kenyan Government hosts, July 2010

Jambo. Xin Chao. Good morning.

On behalf of the Government, Party and people of Viet Nam, allow me to express my deep appreciation to you, our Kenyan hosts, for the warm welcome we have received here in Kenya. This is our first visit to Africa and, thanks to your kindness, we will take away from here a very deep and lasting good impression. What an amazing place this is.

 

Jambo. Xin Chao. Good morning.

On behalf of the Government, Party and people of Viet Nam, allow me to express my deep appreciation to you, our Kenyan hosts, for the warm welcome we have received here in Kenya. This is our first visit to Africa and, thanks to your kindness, we will take away from here a very deep and lasting good impression. What an amazing place this is.

Allow me also to express my admiration for all that you have done to respond to HIV in your country. As you may know, Viet Nam’s epidemic is quite different from Kenya’s. Ours is a concentrated epidemic and much of our efforts focus on targeted prevention for key populations at higher risk and reduction of stigma and discrimination in the wider community. Our epidemic is relatively young and we are working very hard to ensure it is halted and reversed. We have much to learn from countries like Kenya, who have been responding to HIV for so much longer, and who have witnessed so much devastation. In Viet Nam, 0.53% of people are living with HIV, or about 290,000 people. As I understand it, in Kenya, HIV prevalence is over 7% and almost two million people are living with HIV. My heart goes out to you.

Despite our different epidemics, our responses face many of the same challenges and I hope and believe that we can learn from each other during this first visit and in the future. 

•    We both face formidable barriers to reaching our Universal Access targets – and in particular, to reaching key populations at higher risk with essential services
•    We both wish to overcome challenges to strengthening our coordination work and fully implementing the Three Ones at all levels of the response
•    We both rely heavily on international donor aid and need to make tough decisions as that aid is scaled back and the sustainability of our responses is spotlighted

In Viet Nam we have a saying: you can break a single chopstick very easily, but it is impossible to break a bunch of chopsticks held together. This means that acting alone we are weak; we do not have enough power to really change things. However, when we work together, we are unbreakable. 

I hope and trust that this official visit is the beginning of a partnership and series of exchanges between our countries. I hope we will work together more closely in the future. 

I would like to thank you again for your wonderful hospitality and invite you to visit us someday soon in Viet Nam. You would be most welcome.

Thank you for your kind attention. And as we say in Viet Nam, ‘chuc suc khoe,’ or I wish you good health.

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Green One UN House, 304 Kim Ma, Ba Dinh, Ha Noi, Viet Nam