Vietnam: `Building an equitable, democratic and civilised society'

Vietnamese delegation addresses the World at a Crossroads conference. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

By Le Vinh Thu

This is the text of the speech on behalf of Communist Party of Vietnam's delegation to the World at a Crossroads conference, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective and Resistance, held in Sydney, April 10-12, 2009.

* * *

Dear comrades and friends,

In the past, Vietnam used to be a semi-feudal colony where people had to endure a poverty-stricken and miserable life. Nguyen Ai Quoc, who later became the great President Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam, affirmed that: “If we want to save our country and liberate our people, there is no other way than the proletarian revolution” and “only socialism and communism could liberate the oppressed people and labourers in the world from slavery”. Hence, national independence associated with socialism is the path for national liberation and development of Vietnam.

National independence is the prerequisite condition to carry out socialism and socialism is the target, the ideal and the condition to ensure a comfortable, free and happy life for people, and it is also the factor to preserve the national independence. Thanks to that right path, Vietnam has won independence, freedom and national unification, and is now steadily advancing to socialism.

From the reality of the world and its own, Vietnam has defined a socialist society that it is building as an equitable, democratic and civilised one with a prosperous people and powerful country; a society owned by the people with a highly developed economy relying on modern production forces whose level of development matching with the production relations; a society with an advanced culture that is deeply imbued with its own national identity; a society whose people are liberated from oppression and injustice, and enjoy a prosperous, free and happy life with comprehensive development; a society with all ethnic groups in the Vietnamese community being equal, united and assisting each other to progress; a society with a law-governed socialist state of the people, by the people and for the people under the leadership of the Communist Party, having friendly and co-operative ties with all the people throughout the world.

In order to successfully build such a society, given the Vietnam’s situation, the strong development of the scientific and technological revolution and economic globalisation, and the trend of peace, cooperation and development in the world, Vietnam defines the path towards socialism and advancing the country as developing a socialist-oriented market economy; stepping up industrialisation and modernisation; building an advanced culture that is deeply imbued with national identity as the spiritual foundation of the society; building a socialist democracy; implementing the great national unity; building a law-governed socialist state of the people, by the people and for the people; building a clean  and strong party; ensuring national defence and security; being proactive in international economic integration; and simultaneously expanding international cooperation in other fields.

After more than 20 years carrying out the renewal process, Vietnam has recorded great achievements with historical significance that are highly valued by the international community. The country has emerged from a socioeconomic crisis, and its national economy has grown rapidly; the cause of industrialisation, modernisation and the development of the socialist-oriented market economy have been accelerated. People’s living conditions have been markedly improved. The political system and the great national unity bloc have been consolidated and strengthened. The socio-political situation is stable. National defence and security are firmly maintained. Vietnam’s role in the international arena has been continuously heightened. The aggregate national power has been increased substantially, creating a new position and strength for the country to continue progressing with fine prospects.

Over the past two decades, Vietnam’s economic growth rate has continuously been over 7.5% per year; the rate of poor households according to international standards has been reduced from 58% in the early 1990s to 14.7% in 2007; the life expectancy has risen from 63 to above 71 years old; nearly 1.5 million people have received jobs every year. According to the UN assessment, Vietnam has successfully achieved the goal “to cut one half of the poverty rate by 2015”, a Millennium Development Goal on poverty reduction and hunger eradication, 10 years earlier than planned. With a remarkable improvement of living conditions, the grassroots have happily and enthusiastically participated in the renewal process of the Communist Party, making it a job of the whole people. The Vietnamese people’s dynamism and creativeness has been strengthened; the role of the people in the development process has been further improved; the position of people in society has been affirmed and diversified demands of the people has been better met.

In the context of the current world economic and financial crisis, the Communist Party and the State of Vietnam have put forward solutions to actively prevent economic recession; curb inflation; stabilise the macro economy and create favourable conditions for manufacture, maintain suitable and sustainable economic growth. With those positive solutions, within the first three months of 2009, Vietnam has reached an economic growth rate of 3.1%; though it is not high, but according to the World Bank statistics for more than 170 countries, Vietnam is one of 12 countries that has a positive growth rate.

With the achievements and lessons in 20 years of the renewal process, we believe that Vietnam will successfully meet the objective of basically becoming an industrial country in a modern direction by 2020, with a prosperous people, powerful country and equal, democratic and civilised society.

Dear comrades and friends, on this occasion, we would like to wish the conference a great success.

Thank you very much for your attention.

[Le Vinh Thu is director-general of the South East Asia, South Asia and South Pacific Department of the External Relations Commission of the Communist Party of Vietnam.]