Speech by Dr. Olivé on the occasion of TET 2009
Speech by Dr. Jean-Marc Olivé, WHO Representative to Viet Nam
Let me start by wishing all of you a very happy year of the Ox!
As you all know, each animal of the zodiac has unique qualities. While preparing for tonight’s speech I discovered the Ox symbolizes prosperity through unity, courage and hard work.
According to my Google search, success this year will come to hard thinkers and those who value teamwork!
If that is the case, 2009 will be a year of great achievements in the health sector and one of overcoming great challenges.
That is because those here tonight – both in Government and the international community:
- understand the need for unity and team work in order to achieve results
- are courageous and bold enough to take the decisions needed to bring about much-needed change
The world knows that Viet Nam has made enormous gains in every area - including health. But we also know that great health challenges remain. I sincerely hope that 2009 sees an easing in the economic crisis which swept across the globe last year.
But a Google search is not needed to tell us difficult financial times are ahead. No country is immune. Now we must all work – like the Ox - to defend and preserve the progress Viet Nam has made.
We must maintain funding levels, reach universal access to health services and ensure no-one is pushed back into poverty due to health expenses.
As we celebrate the New Year let all redouble our efforts to help achieve our common objective of improving the lives of the Vietnamese people.
Finally - my thanks the Minister of Health, for hosting this special event.
On behalf of all members of the international community, I wish all of you and your families the best luck, fortune, happiness and of course health!
Let's toast to the New Year and to our continuing friendship.
Xin cam on. Chuc Mung Nam Moi.