It is an honor to join you this afternoon on National Disability Day. This year Vietnam and the United States celebrate the 20th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations between our two countries. During that period our governments have partnered for significant achievements in areas of economic growth and trade, health, education, and support to vulnerable populations including persons with disabilities.
Tôi rất vinh hạnh được tham gia cùng quý vị trong buổi lễ chiều nay nhân Ngày Người khuyết tật Việt Nam. Năm nay, Việt Nam và Hoa Kỳ kỷ niệm 20 năm bình thường hóa quan hệ ngoại giao giữa hai nước. Trong suốt thời gian này, chính phủ hai nước đã hợp tác và đạt được những thành tựu đáng kể trên nhiều lĩnh vực, về tăng trưởng kinh tế, thương mại, y tế, giáo dục và hỗ trợ các nhóm yếu thế, trong đó có người khuyết tật.
The acceleration of development and the eradication of poverty have been the enduring commitments of USAID throughout our more than 50-year history. And yet we stand today at a unique time, with unique opportunities.
Just as the U.S. – India relationship has evolved, so has the way we address development challenges together.
Thank you all for coming together with us to have this very important discussion. And allow me to recognize the presence of Undersecretary Gil Beltran from the Department of Finance in the Philippines, with thanks for taking time out of your very busy schedule to attend this important event. Of course I would also like to thank Stephen O’Connell, USAID’s Chief Economist who is joining us from Washington DC, and so many other distinguished guests.
I am delighted to be with you today on the beautiful campus of Dhaka University to open the International Conference on Gender, Diversity, and Development. Today, and throughout this event, we celebrate the achievements that Bangladesh has made in empowering women. More importantly, this conference provides a platform for us all to discuss the challenges ahead – challenges that we must address now – to fully affect change and achieve true equality for all women and girls.
As we have already heard this morning, South Africa is burdened by one of the most severe TB epidemics in the world. Additionally, South Africa has the greatest burden of HIV-infected individuals - and the TB and HIV epidemics are fueling each other.
It is an exciting time as 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the normalization of U.S.-Vietnam diplomatic relations.
The anniversary is an opportunity to take stock in how far this relationship has come and how much it has benefited the people from our countries. Over the past 20 years, our bilateral trade has grown from only $450 million to over $35 million annually in 2014. Over approximately the same time period the people of Vietnam have reduced their country’s poverty level from nearly 60 percent in the 1990s to 17 percent in 2012.
At USAID, we believe that by partnering to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies, we are helping developing countries transform into peaceful, open, and flourishing partners for our nation.
The United States has been a leading supporter of disaster risk reduction through its development assistance. USAID alone has provided about $1.2 billion to support disaster risk reduction in 91 countries over the past decade. As part of USAID’s new policy on resilience, we are marshalling our humanitarian and development resources to help the world’s most vulnerable mitigate risks in the face of recurring disasters. We are pursuing public-private partnerships to help scale up these efforts, including the Global Resilience Partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Last updated: January 17, 2017