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Speech of Ms. Naomi Kitahara at the workshop on strengthening the National Action Programme on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics 2017-2024

25 September 2020

Honorable Vice Minister of Justice, Mr. Nguyen Khanh Ngoc;

Distinguished guests, Representatives from the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, General Statistics Office and other Government Ministries and agencies;

UN and Vital Strategy Colleagues;

Ladies and gentlemen,

 

I am pleased to be here today for the workshop on strengthening the National Action Programme on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS), for the period 2017-2024. I would like to express my appreciation for the collaboration and leadership of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) in coordination and implementation of the first-ever National Action Programme on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics over the past three years. I am also delighted that the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health and General Statistics Office are all committed to this issue. Let me offer my sincere congratulations for your tremendous efforts to date.

Distinguished guests,

Civil registration and vital statistics, or CRVS, is not just a technical or bureaucratic item. A well-functioning system for civil registration and vital statistics is the best source of timely, complete and continuous data for the population including births, deaths and causes of deaths.

Until we know, with certainty, how many people live in a country, when they are born, where they live, how large their households and families are, and when and why they die, they remain effectively invisible to decision makers. Accurate and complete vital statistics – derived from civil registration records – are critical to developing national and local policies and measuring development outcomes.

CRVS systems are also critical to the 2030 development goals. 15 out of 17 SDGs use indicators, which require high quality CRVS data. A fully functioning CRVS system is also a prerequisite to good socio-economic planning and decision-making, enabling governments to monitor key demographic and health indicators, including fertility and mortality, and target resources and interventions to the most needed population groups.

Ladies and gentlemen,

UNFPA and other UN agencies in Viet Nam have been supporting the development of Viet Nam’s Civil Registration and Vital Statistics for a decade in a number of ways. Technical support has been provided for the development of the National Programme of Action on CRVS for the period 2017-2024 and other related decrees and circulars.

 

Two months ago, a new partnership was signed between UNFPA Viet Nam and Vital Strategies to improve Viet Nam’s CRVS. This programme aims at supporting the Government’ efforts to improve the quality of birth and death registration including causes of death in Viet Nam. We aim at strengthening CRVS governance, assessing CRVS system functioning, conducting CRVS legal and regulatory reviews, developing plans to improve the assignment of causes of death using internationally recognized standards, improving the Monitoring & Evaluation framework for CRVS, and producing timely and quality vital statistics reports. The new partnership between UNFPA and Vital Strategies started in July 2020, and will be implemented through March 2021 in close collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and other line Ministries.

Distinguished guests,

We have only ten years left to achieve SDGs. The promise to leave no one behind puts on the statistical community a high demand for high quality population data - reliable, timely, disaggregated, consistent and comparable data, which is needed to assess progress and address inequalities in sustainable development.

The National Steering Committee is a vital body in the implementation of the Action Programme on CRVS. The committee is to build bridges across line Ministries, provide guidance and oversight, and advocate for sustainable investments in civil registration and vital statistics. Close collaboration and exchange of CRVS data among different relevant agencies will improve data quality and consistency, increase completeness of registration, and reduce costs.

By improving the CRVS system, Viet Nam is honouring its commitments to the Declaration of the Ministerial Conference and the Framework for Action in Asia Pacific on CRVS for the period 2015-2024. UNFPA will support the Government of Viet Nam to speed up the process of change, towards a modern and progressive CRVS system, in which data including vital statistics will be shared and used for the formulation and the implementation of evidence-based policies and decision-making.

UNFPA in Viet Nam reaffirms our strong commitments to joining hands with the Government in implementing the National Action Programme on CRVS to assure “leaving no one behind.”

Thank you. I wish you a fruitful workshop.