Party General Secretary addresses Congress opening ceremony
The Presidium of the Congress included Party General Secretary Nong Duc Manh and other Politburo members of the 9th Party Central Committee, namely Tran Duc Luong, Phan Van Khai, Nguyen Van An, Phan Dien, Nguyen Minh Triet, Nguyen Tan Dung, Nguyen Phu Trong, Le Hong Anh, Truong Tan Sang, Pham Van Tra, Truong Quang Duoc, Tran Dinh Hoan, Nguyen Khoa Diem; and other delegates.
Prominent among guests at the solemn ceremony were former Party General Secretaries Le Kha Phieu and Do Muoi; former State President Le Duc Anh; General Vo Nguyen Giap; many former members of the Party Politburo, Central Committee Secretariat, Central Committee; former Vice State Presidents; former Deputy Prime Ministers; former Vice Chairmen of the National Assembly; and representatives of people of all strata.
After the opening speech of State President and Party Politburo member Tran Duc Luong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Viet Nam 9th Central Committee Nong Duc Manh delivered an important report titled "Enhancing the Party's leadership and capacity for struggle, bringing into full play the entire nation's strength, comprehensively boosting the renewal process, and delivering the country from its underdeveloped status soon."
Reviewing five years of execution of the Resolution of the 9th Party Congress and 20 years of renewal, the Party leader said:
"During the past five years, besides the advantages created by the renewal process, our country has encountered not a few difficulties and challenges due to inborn weaknesses common to low-level economies; natural disasters, epidemics that occurred in many areas; complicated developments across the region and the world. In this context, our entire Party, people and armed forces have tried their best to implement the Resolution of the Ninth Congress, and made very important achievements.
"The economy has successfully overcome the period of decline to record rather high growth rates and all-round development. The GDP, which has grown every year, has logged an average annual growth rate of 7.5 per cent during the 2001-2005 period, and developed in a rather comprehensive way. In the cultural-social field, progress has been made in many domains; the linkage of economic development with solutions for social problems has changed for the better, especially in hunger elimination and poverty alleviation; the living standards of people from all strata have been improved. The socio-political situation has been stable, national defence and security have been enhanced and external relations have entered a new phase of development. The establishment of a socialist, law-governed State has made progress in the three domains of legislation, execution and jurisdiction. The strength of the national unity bloc has been brought into play. Party-building work has achieved positive results.
Besides the above achievements, the report pointed to the following shortcomings and weaknesses:
"Economic growth has not been commensurate to available potentials; the quality, efficiency and competitiveness of the economy is still poor; and the economic structure has shifted too slowly. The renewal of mechanisms and policies on socio-culture has been slow; many pressing social problems have not been fully resolved. In the field of national defence and security, as well as in external relations, there still exist certain shortcomings. Renewal in some parts of the organisation and activities performed by the State, Fatherland Front and mass organisations has been slow. Party-building and rectifying work has not yet met requirements."
The General Secretary noted that the achievements in five years implementing the Resolution of the Ninth Congress have made important contributions to the overall achievements of the 20 years of renewal.
He said: "During the past 20 years, with the entire Party, people and army's great efforts, our country's renewal process has made remarkable and historically significant achievements.
"The country has emerged from a socio-economic crisis and achieved fundamental and comprehensive changes. The national economy has grown rapidly, the cause of industrialisation and modernisation and the development of the socialist-oriented market economy have been accelerated. People's living conditions have markedly improved. The political system and the great national unity bloc have been consolidated and strengthened. The socio-political situation has been stabilised. National defence and security has been firmly maintained. Our country's position in the international arena has been continuously heightened. The aggregate national power has been increased substantially, creating a new position and strength for the country to continue progress with fine prospects."
The report stressed that: "These facts have proved that the renewal policy, initiated and led by our Party, is totally correct, creative and appropriate with the current situation of the country in the current period. At this Congress, our Party affirms to continue to comprehensively strengthen the renewal process - a policy that won the entire peoples support and international appreciation."
The Party General Secretary also outlined national development objectives and orientations for the 2006-2010 period, which are to increase the Party's leadership and fighting capacity, promote the strength of the whole nation, comprehensively accelerate the renewal process, mobilise and efficiently utilise all resources for industrialisation and modernisation; develop culture; achieve progress in the areas of society and justice; strengthen national defence and security; broaden external relations; actively integrate into the world economy; ensure socio-political stability; quickly lift the country from the status of an underdeveloped nation; and lay a foundation for the country to become a modern industrialised country by 2020.
He said: "With high determination, we have put forward concrete targets for major socio-economic development in the 2006-2010 period; and most importantly by 2010, the country's GDP should increase by 2.1 times from levels in 2000, with an average annual growth rate at between 7.5 to 8 per cent or more. Agriculture should account for 15-16 percent of the GDP; industry and construction, 43-44 percent; services, 40-41 percent. About 8 million jobs will be created while the rate of unemployment in urban areas drops to below 5 percent. The percentage of poor households measured by new criteria should be reduced to 10-11 percent."
The leader also stressed the need to further perfect the institution of the socialist-oriented market economy; step up industrialisation and modernisation in association with development of the knowledge-based economy; properly addressing social, cultural, educational, scientific and technological issues.
On strengthening national defence and security, expanding external relations and actively integrating into the international economy, Party General Secretary Manh said that necessary and effective measures should be taken to build a people-based national defence and security which is strong in every respect; to firmly protect the Fatherlands independence, sovereignty, unification and territorial integrity; safeguard the Party, the State, the people and the socialist regime as well as political and economic security, culture-ideology and social security; to firmly preserve the country's political stability, drive back and foil every hostile sabotage ploys and activities.
Relating to external relations, the Party leader said: "We will consistently follow a foreign line of independence, peace, cooperation and development; the foreign policy of openness, multilateralisation and diversification of international relations. Viet Nam is a friend and reliable partner of countries in the international community and actively participates in the process of international and regional cooperation.
"The tasks of external relations work are to firmly maintain a peaceful environment and create favourable conditions for the doi moi (renewal) process, boost socio-economic development, national industrialisation and modernisation, construction and defence and, at the same time, actively contribute to the common struggle of world people for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress."
The Party leader also stressed the tasks of promoting democracy and the strength of the national unity bloc, and continuing to build and perfect a socialist state ruled by law.
He said strengthening the national unity bloc and bringing into play the aggregate national power for the success of the renewal process and national construction and defence is an important issue on the Congress agenda and also an unshakable determination of the Party, the State and the Vietnamese people.
"The Viet Nam Fatherland Front and mass organisations play an extremely important role in rallying, campaigning and uniting people of all strata; representing the people's legitimate rights and interests; enacting policies of the Party and the State on the economy, culture, society, security and national defence programmes into peoples life."
General Secretary Nong Duc Manh highlighted the need to renew and rectify the Party, improve its leadership and combat capacity, and supplement and amend the Party Statute.
"While leading the renewal process, our Party has over the past five years consistently and seriously implementing the key task of strengthening the Party in terms of politics, ideology and organisation, with focus on the grassroots level and key areas, and have achieved positive results," the Party leader said. He added that degradation in the political ideology, ethics, and lifestyle, opportunism, individualism, bureaucracy, corruption and waste of a segment of officials and functionaries have been serious. Many grassroots Party organisations lack combat capacity and have been unable to resolve arising complicated problems. Ideological education still lacks persuasiveness. Theoretical work has failed to make clear a number of important questions relevant to the renewal process. Weaknesses have manifested in organisational and personnel work. Poor quality and low efficiency have been seen in the work of supervision and inspection."
General Secretary Manh said the Party should strive hard to create a breakthrough in Party building work, upholding the revolutionary traditions, the nature of the working class and the pioneering spirit of the Party in order to build a pure and strong Party in terms of politics, ideology and organisation, with strong internal unity and close connection with the people, a scientific leadership style and a contingent of cadres and members of high qualifications and ethics. "This is the key task of vital importance to the Party and the Vietnamese people's revolutionary cause."
Towards these goals, the Party leader said efforts should be made to improve the Party's political capacity and intellectual levels, consolidate and renew the operations of grassroots Party organisations, and improve the quality of Party members.
He also stressed that the principle of democratic centralism within the Party must be seriously observed; the ties between the Party and the people must be strengthened and the quality and efficiency of inspection work improved, adding that attention should also be paid to renewing the Party's organization, apparatus and personnel work, as well as the Party leadership style.
After the General Secretary's report, on behalf of the Congress Secretariat, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, a Party Central Committee member, read a list of 35 communist and fraternal parties in the world that have sent greetings to the Congress.
Also at the opening session, Phan Dien, a Politburo member and Standing member of the 9th Central Committee Secretariat, delivered a report reviewing the leadership and guidance of the 9th Party Central Committee./.
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