Vietnam Time

9/28/2018 12:11:53 PM

Hanoi-based UN Office: A success in Vietnam – UN cooperation

In addition to effectively realising its bilateral cooperation goals, Vietnam has also been active in building and participating in United Nations (UN) mechanisms and organisations. The construction of the Green One United Nations House (GOUNH) in Hanoi, which has received much appreciation from the international community, is a vivid illustration of the effective cooperation.

The Green One United Nations House in Hanoi was awarded the Platinum Lotus Certification by the Vietnam Green Building Council in May 2017. (Photo: UN in Vietnam)

The Vietnamese Government and the 18 UN agencies signed a One Strategic Plan (OSP) for the 2017-2021 period on July 5 2018, marking a significant milestone highlighting the UN’s strong commitment to cooperate with and give support to Vietnam in realising its national action plan to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Vietnam has also closely coordinated with the UN agencies in implementing the UN’s “Delivering as One (DaO)” initiative.

The GOUNH in Vietnam, which was inaugurated on the occasion of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Vietnam in May 2015, is the first green certified UN House in the world.

The building was designed as a model to cope with the environmental challenges facing Vietnam, demonstrating the country’s efforts to complete the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The UN staff at the GOUNH are being encouraged to adopt green behaviours by reducing printing, replacing plastic products and using public transportation. The GOUNH is estimated to reuse 94% of the pre-existing building.

The building achieved almost a third of its energy reduction targets through various measures including solar water heating and smart environmental controls. It also secured a 42% reduction of water use through using the appropriate fixtures. The building is also powered by solar energy collected through solar panels.

Two years after it was put into operation, the GOUNH was awarded the Platinum Lotus Certification, the highest level in the market-based green building rating system, granted by the Vietnam Green Building Council in May 2017.

Most recently, the building was honoured with the Leadership in Sustainable Design and Performance Award in the Institutional Category at the World Green Building Council's (WorldGBC) biennial Asia Pacific Leadership in Green Building Awards in September this year.

The awards are given to recognise iconic green buildings, up-and-coming innovators and inspiring companies driving change and creating a better future throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

According to Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, the presentation of the award to the UN in Vietnam recognised the unique role that the United Nations can and must also play in championing the leadership in Green Building designs around the world.

Joelle Chen, Regional Head of World GBC's Asia Pacific Network, said that the Hanoi-based GOUNH serves as a model for sustainable construction in Vietnam and demonstrates how innovative design and sustainable management practices for existing buildings can lay the foundations for meeting many of the SDGs.

Since Vietnam became a middle-income country, the cooperation between Vietnam and the UN shifted its focus from providing technical assistance to upstream policy advice, helping Vietnam to achieve its sustainable development goals, with priorities in such areas as hunger elimination, sustainable poverty reduction, environmental protection, response to climate change and sea level rises, human resources training, institutional reform, and gender equality.

In the process of accelerating industrialisation, modernisation and international integration, Vietnam has actively and closely coordinated with the UN to successfully implement its socio-economic development goals, striving to become one of the countries to fully achieve the MDGs. The GOUNH is one of the typical successes in bilateral cooperation as the UN in Vietnam was amongst the very first pioneers globally to realise a One UN House.

In the context of rapid and complicated changes in the global situation, the role played by multilateral cooperation mechanisms, especially the UN, have become even more important. Vietnam continues to build trust in multilateral dialogues with respect for international law, peace, and equal cooperation for mutual development./.

  ( VNF/NDO )
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