UN chief addresses Vietnam house, hails 'impressive growth'

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) addresses a session of Vietnam's National Assembly (Parliament) in Hanoi May 23, 2015. Photo: Reuters United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (R) addresses a session of Vietnam's National Assembly (Parliament) in Hanoi May 23, 2015. Photo: Reuters
Vietnam has notched up considerable socio-economic achievements and contributed significantly to international peacekeeping operations, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Saturday.
Ban was addressing the National Assembly -- Vietnam's legislature -- as he wrapped up his two-day visit to that country.
"On each trip, I saw impressive growth," Ban told the full house. "Vietnam is showing the world that a tragic past can open a prosperous present. And I am confident that you will achieve even more dramatic development in the future."
He also lauded the country for being at the forefront of the Millennium Development Goals -- 
- a set of targets for education, poverty, health and other areas.
He too hailed the participation of Vietnam in United Nations peacekeeping.
"I salute the brave Vietnamese who have travelled far from their homes to help suffering people in the Central African Republic and South Sudan," he said.
During his visit, Ban met with Vietnam's top echelons -- Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, President Truong Tan Sang, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, and National Assembly chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung.
Earlier on Saturday, Ban and Deputy PM and foreign minister Pham Binh Minh inaugurated the Green One UN House, which he called "a living symbol of our commitment to live by our principles."
"And it sets an example for other United Nations offices to follow," Ban said.

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