Since its reunification in 1975, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam has sought to address the needs of its ethnic minority population. With dedicated machinery of government, including in the National Assembly, the 54 ethnic minorities of Vietnam are a widely-recognized, key indicator of the country’s demographics. While disparities exist between the Kinh (the majority Vietnamese group), and most other minorities, attempts to reduce these continue to be made. Indeed, in May 2010, the first Nationwide Representative Congress of Ethnic Minorities in Vietnam brought together representatives of each of the country’s minority groups to consider a unifying approach to national development. It was also an opportunity for senior leaders, including the Communist Party General Secretary, Nong Duc Manh and Chairman of the National Assembly, Nguyen Phu Trong, to listen to minority voices and to hear their aspirations for the future. In July 2010, the Vietnamese press widely reported the visit of the UN Independent Expert on minority issues, which aimed to examine the human rights situation of the country’s numerous minority groups.