A Vietnamese diplomat has affirmed Viet Nam’s support for Sierra Leone’s efforts to take leadership and achieve more concrete progress in sustaining peace and stability. Addressing a debate of the UN Security Council on Feb. 9, Ambassador Le Luong Minh, permanent representative of Vietnam to the council, pointed to Sierra Leone ’s progress in implementing its agenda for peace consolidation and socio-economic reconstruction, partially reflected in its overall stable political and security situation. He applauded the country for enhancing dialogue with countries of the Mano River Union aimed at resolving issues of mutual interest, successfully conducting the local council polls in July 2008, and its determination to tackle challenges in a peaceful manner. The diplomat also commended Sierra Leone ’s government for its determination and initial success in the fight against corruption. He shared concerns about the unresolved political tension along ethnic and regional lines, the emerging threat of criminals as well as poor economic and social conditions exacerbated by the rising price of food and fuel. He highlighted the efforts by the UN Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) in proceeding with its new mandate stipulated in Security Council Resolution 1829 (2008), and stressed the need to enhance the coordination among UN agencies.