UNDP regional director arrives in Vietnam

July 28, 2022 | 10:00
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UN assistant secretary general and UNDP regional director for Asia-Pacific Kanni Wignaraja arrived in Vietnam on the night of July 27 for an official visit.
UNDP regional director’s trip to Vietnam
UN assistant secretary general and UNDP regional director for Asia-Pacific Kanni Wignaraja

Wignaraja arrived in Vietnam to follow up on the meeting of Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh and UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner in New York last May to show UNDP's support for Vietnam in the context of post-pandemic recovery and the nation's sustainable climate and energy transition.

In Hanoi, Wignaraja will meet and hold substantive discussions with leaders of the government and the ministers of foreign affairs, natural resources and environment, and agriculture and rural development. Discussions with the government, development partners, and business sector will focus on partnerships for generating a green and inclusive economic rebound and delivering a just climate and energy transition.

She will keynote three high-profile events: The launch of the multi-dimensional Poverty Report with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs, the Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, and the General Statistics Office under the Ministry of Planning and Investment. An international workshop on Climate Change and Human Rights with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. A roundtable on Finance and Governance Accelerators for a Just Energy Transition with VIR.

She will also visit the north-central province of Thanh Hoa to see first-hand the results of the UNDP-Vietnam cooperation – with the support from the Green Climate Fund – in promoting the resilience of coastal communities to climate change through integrated solutions.

Vietnam has made impressive advances towards achieving its sustainable development goals, moving to the high human development category, and improving the quality of life for millions of people.

The country’s commitment to multilateralism is greatly valued, especially at this time, and Vietnam plays an increasingly vital role at regional and global levels on agendas from climate change to peace and sustainable security in accordance with international law.

At the same time, Vietnam has important lessons to offer the world, from rapid poverty reduction to the containment of the pandemic. The UNDP is confident that Vietnam can become a global leader in pioneering a blue-green inclusive economic rebound where no one is left behind.

Kanni Wignaraja began her role as UNDP's assistant administrator and director of the Regional Bureau for Asia-Pacific in 2019.

Before this, she served as the acting assistant administrator and director of UNDP's Bureau of Management Services and as a special adviser to the UNDP administrator – roles that she performed throughout 2019 after working as the director of the UN's Development Operations Coordination Office from 2014 to 2018.

Wignaraja has over 25 years of experience with the UN's mission and UNDP's role in the sustainable development agenda. She has a deep knowledge of the Asia-Pacific region and UNDP's global, regional, and country-level workings across policy, programme management, and operations. She was UNDP deputy resident representative in Vietnam in early 2000.

Prior to joining the UN, Wignaraja worked with the Ford Foundation in New York. She has contributed to numerous papers, articles, and conferences on public policy, institutional reform, capacity development, human rights, and leadership.

She holds a master's degree in Public Administration (Development Economics) from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Bryn Mawr College.

By Thanh Tung

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