Viet Nam

The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam (Viet Nam), with its capital in Hanoi, is situated in the Indochina Peninsula and has a total area of 330,957.6 square kilometers. Viet Nam is the 13th most populous country in the world with a population of 87,740,000 people (2011 est.). Viet Nam has 54 different ethnic groups, with the Viet (Kinh) ethnic group representing 87% of the total population. The rest is a mix of ethnic minorities, including Tay, Thai, Muong, Khmer, Hoa, Nung, Mong, Dao, and Gia Rai.

While 54 ethnic groups speak their own languages, the official language is Viet Namese. English, French, Chinese, and Khmer are also spoken. Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Muslim, Caodaism, and Hoa Hao Buddhism are the major religions in Viet Nam.

Viet Nam is a single-party socialist republic. Supremacy of the communist party is enshrined in the 1992 Constitution (as amended in 2001), which affirms the leadership of the Communist Party of Viet Nam (CPV). The National Assembly of Viet Nam is the highest-level representative body of the people, composed of 498 members who serve five-year term. This body has the supreme supervisory power to oversee all government functions and the implementation of the constitution and laws. It elects the President, who acts as the head of state and commander-in-chief, for five-year term. The Prime Minister is the head of government and is appointed by the President.

While the economic situation in Viet Nam has gradually improved following its accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in January 2007, the wealth disparity between urban and rural communities in Viet Nam is still large. Viet Nam joined the United Nations (UN) on 20 September 1977 and was elected for the first-time as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2008-2009 terms in 2007.

As of August 2013, Viet Nam holds membership of 63 International Organizations, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), International Organization on Migration (IOM), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), International Parliamentary Union (IPU), and International Organisation of La Francophonie. Viet Nam is also a member of several UN specialized agencies such as International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Labor Organization (ILO), and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).