PRESS RELEASE: Spain and Vietnam: Partners in Development

March 27, 2014

Center for Women and Development, Vietnam Women Union, VWU, Hanoi

Vietnamese and Spanish development partners have celebrated in Hanoi, jointly achieved development results, on the occasion of the official visit to Vietnam of H.E. Mr. José Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain.

The event took place in Hanoi, this Wednesday, March 27, at the Center for Women and Development of the Vietnam’s Women Union. The venue recalls the special commitment of the Spanish Development Cooperation to gender equality and the long collaboration with the Women Union. In addition to the remarks of the Spanish Minister and the President of VWU, it was presented the Peace House Shelter Project as a comprehensive model for recovering and reintegration of survivors of Human Trafficking. This project is an example of common achievements in critical development issues as Gender Based Violence, one of the strategic priorities in the partnership for development between the two countries.

In the opening speech by H. E. Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thanh Hoa, President of VWU, recalled the role of the 15 million members organization in the history of the country, promoting always the participation of the women in country’s development and enhancing women’s rights through the construction of laws and policies. She remarked the achievements, mainly in poverty reduction, but also the huge challenges that remain unsolved such as domestic violence, women trafficking and limited awareness of gender equality issues. In this regard she stressed the close partnership with Spain, which has been one of the most relevant partners in recent years, through bilateral and multilateral programs and also through Spanish NGOs.  This cooperation has raised the knowledge, skill, experience and management capabilities of VWU in many areas linked to the present challenges. Special mention was done to some key projects as the promotion of women’s leadership, the strengthen of labor and economic rights for women,  and the Peace House as a model of how to assist victims of gender based violence, projects that has been firmly supported by Spanish Cooperation.

The Spanish Minister remarked that development cooperation has been one of the most important and productive vectors of the strategic partnership between Spain and Vietnam. The Minister expressed his admiration to the development process of Vietnam and its extraordinary success, due, mainly to the industriousness and hard work of the Vietnamese people. He remarked that Spain is proud to have contributed to development achievements through partnerships with key development policies of the Government of Vietnam, as well as through a special contribution to promote the effectiveness of multilateral action through the UN System and the strong collaboration of Spanish NGOs. Regarding the present bilateral development program, the Minister recalled results as the promotion of employment and income generation in rural areas, promotion of agricultural insurances, promotion of microfinance, support of knowledge transfer in tourism and sustainable energies and support to build the gender equality national framework in Vietnam. Focusing on this last aspect, the Minister stressed the three perspectives of the Spanish support to gender equality: institutional support and legal framework to guarantee equality between women and men; communication to build awareness of the role of women in society, gender inequality and their vulnerabilities, and the fight against gender based violence, with special attention to women victims of domestic violence and Human Trafficking. In this regard the Minister acknowledged the strategic role of the Women Union of Vietnam in promoting women rights, being a reliable partner of several projects funded by Spain. He, specifically, congratulates the Women’s Union for its brave decision to take active part in the attention to survivors of human trafficking, running a specialized shelter for them as well as developing 200 trust addresses and 8 orientation centers as services for victims of domestic violence.