Becoming first female minister of Home Affairs: great hounour but heavy responsibility

Phạm Thị Thanh Trà, the first female Minister of Home Affairs, speaks to Vietnam News Agency about her thoughts and feelings after her appointment
Minister of Home Affairs Phạm Thị Thanh Trà. —VNA/VNS Photo

First of all, I would like to congratulate you as the first female Minister of Home Affairs. How do you feel right now?

It is a great honour but also a heavy responsibility for me after the National Assembly passed a resolution approving the Prime Minister’s proposal to appoint 12 ministers, including me.

I will make great efforts together with the ministry’s Party Committee and the ministry’s officials to boost the sector's development and meeting the tasks set. I felt quite emotional when I became the first female minister of Home Affairs. This requires me to try my best to continue developing the sector as the previous leaders did.

As one of the two female members of the Government, what advantages and disadvantages will you have?

The first advantage is that the Resolution of the Party’s XIII Congress has clearly defined the goals, directions and tasks to develop the country and the sector.

I think the directions were very clear, like the road has been opened ahead. The thing that I have to do is carry on that road in the correct way to reach the destination.

Another advantage is the previous leaders of the sector have created a strong foundation for future development.

As a woman, I will definitely receive the attention, support and encouragement from other women when doing my job.

There is also support from other officials and staff of the sector. All of this will give me motivation and confidence to overcome any disadvantages and complete the assigned tasks.

Being the head of a multi-sectoral ministry, what priorities do you set for yourself?

The Ministry of Home Affairs is a multi-sectoral ministry with difficult and sensitive work. There will be pressure but I am ready to tackle it.

When I served as Deputy Minister of Home Affairs since October 2020, my predecessor Lê Vĩnh Tân had shared and helped me a lot in handling my tasks. Tân is very enthusiastic and dedicated to his work. He has contributed much to the sector’s development over the past five years.

The future tasks of the sector are very challenging. The first thing to do is to thoroughly grasp the spirit of the Resolution of the XIII Congress of the Party and implement the tasks synchronously.

The first task is focusing on consulting to improve the institution and build a State administration that is democratic, modern, professional, disciplined, public and transparent to serve the people and achieve our goals.

The second task is promoting administrative reform to make a breakthrough for the period of 2021-26 in order to fix shortcomings and create motivation for the country’s development.

The third is streamlining administrative apparatus, including re-arranging units at district and commune levels. Previously, the ministry made initial steps and got some results. Now, it is the stage of implementing very drastically on this matter.

The fourth is downsizing the workforce of the sector, paying attention to discovering, fostering and appreciating talented people. This is also one of the contents specifically stated by the Resolution of the XIII Congress of the Party so that we could concentrate on building a team of civil servants that are professional, responsible, dynamic and people-centred.

The final task is perfecting decentralisation mechanisms in State management in every aspect of the sector, identifying clearly functions of each unit, responsibility of each officer and member of staff; as well as conducting more inspections to improve the quality and efficiency of State management.

You already worked as the head of a province for a long time, how will you apply your experiences in the role of a minister?

I have experience in many fields, including home affairs, after working as a female head of a province for many years. I also have accumulated experience in leadership and management.

When I held the position of Secretary of Yên Bái Province’s Party Committee, the province strongly implemented five aspects related to home affairs, especially the success in arranging organisational apparatus, administrative reform and decentralisation mechanism.

These are good experiences and valuable lessons to help me perform well as the head of the ministry. — VNS