VIETNAM NEWS HEADLINES NOVEMBER 23

Prime Minister meets with former Japanese PM

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh met with former Japanese PM Suga Yoshihide and Chairman of the Japan - Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Alliance Nikai Toshihiro in Tokyo on November 23.

Describing Japan as a strategic partner of leading importance to Vietnam, PM Chinh noted with satisfaction that the two countries’ extensive strategic partnership has been growing strongly in all fields with high political trust.

He thanked Suga Yoshihide and Nikai Toshihiro, who is also former Secretary-General of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) of Japan, for actively promoting the Japanese Government’s emergency vaccine assistance for Vietnam in the face of the complex COVID-19 situation.

Chinh called on them to keep helping strengthen the ties between the two countries’ parliaments, parliamentarians, and young leaders, and bring into play the role of parliamentary friendship groups.

For his part, Nikai affirmed that the Japan - Vietnam Parliamentary Friendship Alliance will make more contributions to bilateral relations.

On this occasion, PM Chinh attended an event marking the export of the Unshu mandarin, a specialty fruit of Japan, to Vietnam./. 

PM pays working visit to Japan’s Tochigi prefecture

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh on November 23 paid a working visit to Tochigi prefecture, where he received its Governor Fukuda Tomikazu, and attended a conference on cooperation between Vietnamese and Japanese localities as part of his official visit to Japan.

Receiving Fukuda, PM Chinh welcomed the positive development in cooperation between Tochigi and Vietnamese localities, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Vinh Phuc province during this visit, thus making practical contributions to the strong and extensive development in all fields of Vietnam - Japan relations.

He thanked the Governor and his prefecture for creating favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Vietnamese leader suggested Fukuda back the expansion of collaboration and investment with Vietnamese localities to make full use of potential and existing cooperation mechanisms, share experience in sustainable development with Vietnam through all-level delegation exchanges, and support local businesses to strengthen economic, trade and investment ties with the Southeast Asian nation.

Noting that potential for bilateral cooperation remains huge, PM Chinh affirmed that the Vietnamese government is willing to create all possible conditions for Tochigi’s enterprises to do business and invest successfully in Vietnam.

Fukuda said that 22 enterprises from the prefecture are currently investing in Vietnam. The Vietnamese community in the province is now the largest expat community in Tochigi with 8,000 people, he said.

He affirmed that Tochigi wishes to intensify cooperation with more localities in Vietnam, and wants to receive more highly-skilled workers and technical apprentices from Vietnam.

Speaking at the conference on cooperation between Vietnamese and Japanese localities, PM Chinh stated that Vietnam has a stable political environment, and its relationship with Japan is at its best ever, thus creating favourable opportunities for businesses in Tochigi in particular and Japan in general to invest in Vietnam.

He showed his hope that Tochigi and Japanese businesses would pour capital in Vietnam in climate change response, healthcare capacity improvement, clean energy, green energy and digital economy.

On this occasion, PM Chinh witnessed the signing of the cooperation agreement between Vinh Phuc province and Tochigi prefecture./.

Vietnamese President to pay official visits to Switzerland, Russia

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc will lead a high-ranking Vietnamese delegation to pay official visits to Switzerland and Russia from November 25 to December 2.

The visits will be made at the invitations of Swiss President Guy Parmelin and Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In 1971, Switzerland became one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with Vietnam.

Meanwhile, Vietnam and the Soviet Union (now Russia) set up their diplomatic ties on January 30, 1950./.

Vietnamese students win medals at Int’l Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics

All five Vietnamese students participating in the International Olympiad on Astronomy and Astrophysics (IOAA) 2021, which concluded on November 21, won medals.

The Vietnamese team comprised five 12th graders from Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted.

Tran Dinh Dung pocketed a gold medal. Meanwhile Nguyen Manh Duc and Nguyen Khanh Tam won silver medals, and Le Duc An and Dinh Tran Hai Chien were bronze medallists.

IOAA 2021 was held online, attracting students aged under 19 from over 60 countries around the world./.

Culture conference to inspire aspiration for fast, sustainable development

Culture conference to inspire aspiration for fast, sustainable development hinh anh 1

The National Culture Conference, slated for November 24, is set to inspire the entire people’s aspiration for fast and sustainable national development, according to Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung.

The conference in Hanoi will review the outcomes of the cultural and human development in Vietnam over 35 years since the “Doi moi” (Renewal) period began, based on which culture-related orientations and focal tasks for 2021 - 2026 with a vision to 2045 will be identified.

Hung told the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) that 2021 is the 75th year since the first National Culture Conference was held on November 24, 1946. Therefore, this year’s event holds historic significance, which is upholding the spirit of the first conference chaired by then President Ho Chi Minh and inspiring the entire people’s aspiration for fast and sustainable national development.

The National Culture Conference 2021 is a step to implement the culture-related content in the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress. It also illustrates the Party, Government, and National Assembly’s great attention to culture, he noted.

The conference will take place at the Dien Hong Hall of the National Assembly’s headquarters in Hanoi with the presence of nearly 600 delegates, including Party and State leaders, officials, artists, and representatives of socio-political organisations. It will also be connected with 63 provinces and cities nationwide via videoconference.

The minister said the event will re-systematise the Party’s viewpoints and President Ho Chi Minh’s thought about culture, base on the Party’s guidelines to gain an insight into culture-related achievements as well as shortcomings over 35 years of reform, and specify orientations and tasks for the time ahead so as to develop the culture and people of Vietnam and inspire the aspiration for a powerful nation.

The conference is expected to help the entire Party, people, and army have a better and more comprehensive understanding of the Party’s guidelines and viewpoints on culture to practice culture properly and build an advanced culture deeply imbued with national identity, according to Hung./.

Vietnam chairs online meeting of IPU’s ASEAN+3 group

A delegation of the Vietnamese National Assembly participated in meetings of the ASEAN+3 and Asia-Pacific groups of the Inter-parliamentary Union (IPU) which were held in the form of video conference on November 23.

The meetings were held to make preparations for the 143rd General Assembly of the IPU (IPU-143) slated for Spain from November 26-30.

The meeting of the ASEAN 3 Group was chaired by Chairman of the Vietnamese NA’s Committee for External Affairs Vu Hai Ha, who noted that many on-site activities of the group had been cancelled and shifted to virtual form during the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, with resolve and political will, the ASEAN 3 Group continued to maintain dialogue to contribute to the IPU’s common goals and multilateral parliamentary diplomacy, he said.

The group approved the minutes of its virtual meeting on April this year in the framework of the 142nd IPU General Assembly. It also elected the Cambodian parliament to chair the group’s meeting in the framework of the 144th IPU General Assembly scheduled for March 2022.

At the meeting of the Asia-Pacific geopolitical group (APG) under the chair of the Republic of Korea, the Vietnamese delegation presented a report on the meeting of the ASEAN+3 Group.

The APG adopted the minutes of its previous meeting held online on May 7 this year in the framework of IPU-142 and discussed the group’s vacant seats in the IPU’s mechanisms at the upcoming IPU-143.

The group agreed to nominate a representative of the Mongolian parliament to join the leadership of female parliamentarians at IPU-143./.

Public Security Minister holds online talks with Australian Minister of Home Affairs

Minister of Public Security General To Lam suggested measures to strengthen cooperation between Vietnam and Australia as well as between his ministry and Australian partners, during his online talks with Australian Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews on November 23.

He said cooperation between the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and Australian law enforcement agencies has been enhanced in such spheres as crime combat, immigration management and judicial assistance.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security and the Australian Ministry of Home Affairs are effectively implementing commitments and agreements signed, and the minutes of the second Vietnam-Australia Vice-Ministerial Security Dialogue in December 2019, Lam said, adding that the third dialogue is scheduled to be held in Australia in 2022 when the COVID-19 pandemic is put under control.

Lam suggested the two sides continue to effectively roll out the action programme implementing the Vietnam-Australia strategic partnership for the 2020-2021 period.

Vietnam and Australia should step up cooperation across fields, including security and national defence, and work on a roadmap to advance the bilateral relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership, he said.

Lam also proposed information sharing and coordination in crime combat and personnel training, saying joint efforts are needed to effectively put cooperation agreements in place, notably the 2020 memorandum of understanding on police cooperation and organized crime prevention and the 2018 agreement on the transfer of sentenced persons.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security hopes that the Australian Ministry of Home Affairs and Government members will continue to create favourable conditions for law enforcement forces of the two countries to tighten their cooperation, the minister said.

He suggested improving capacity for fighting drug, high-tech crimes, human trafficking, illegal migration, and non-traditional crimes.

For her part, Andrews also expressed her hope that the two ministries will beef up their cooperation, especially in exit-entry management, cross-border crime combat and cyber security, among others./.

“Vietnam: Travel to Love!” video clip to be launched on YouTube

A video clip entitled “Viet Nam: Di de yeu!” (Vietnam: Travel to Love!) was scheduled to be officially launched on YouTube digital platform on November 23 to take visitors to a journey through beautiful destinations of Vietnam.

This is part of activities to welcome the National Culture Conference that is slated for November 24 in Hanoi.

According to the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, the video clip is a new step towards the recovery of the tourism sector in the context that Vietnam has received first international visitors within a pilot programme to open the tourism market for “vaccine passport” holders.

The video clip introduces well-known destinations of Vietnam, including Ha Long Bay, Phu Quoc island, Nha Trang and Hoi An ancient city, which has been honoured by the World Travel Awards as "Asia's Leading Cultural City Destination 2021"./.

Vietnamese, Chinese border guards meet via webinar

A webinar between border guards of the northwestern provinces of Lao Cai, Lai Chau, Dien Bien and Ha Giang and a delegation from China’s Yunnan provincial Immigration General Checkpoint took place on November 23.

At the event, both sides agreed to lift bilateral border defence cooperation mechanism to a new height. Once the COVID-19 pandemic is under control, they will continue holding friendship exchanges to share professional expertise.

Amid the pandemic, they flexibly and creatively created conditions for the circulation of goods between the two nations. Important achievements were made in cooperation mechanisms for legal enforcement such as joint patrols and joint work to deal with cases.

The Vietnamese side donated 43,500 medical masks and 960 bottles of sanitiser to China. Meanwhile, China also handed over 46,000 medical masks, 200 protective suits, 30 boxes of sanitiser and 50 body temperature scanners to Vietnam./.

Activities mark Cultural Heritage Day in Hanoi

A series of activities have been launched to honour and promote the cultural heritage of Thang Long-Hanoi on the occasion of Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day on November 23.

Wood carving artworks from the Ang Phao traditional craft village in Thanh Oai district were introduced to the public at the opening ceremony of events held in the capital’s Old Quarter, on November 19.

Created with sophisticated techniques, the artworks help preserve the charm of Vietnamese fine arts and traditional wood carving.

A photo exhibition on traditional crafts is also being held, featuring 60 images.

The opening ceremony also marked the beginning of culture-art activities honouring the cultural heritage of Thang Long-Hanoi in general and the Old Quarter in particular.

Of note, a ceremony presenting awards to winners of an art contest on 60 years of Hoan Kiem district in the heart of Hanoi took place on November 21. People can also join activities online, via the “Pho co Ha Noi” (Hanoi Old Quarter) Facebook page.

Activities will run until December 15./.

Top legislator sends congratulations to new President of Czech Chamber of Deputies

Chairman of the National Assembly Vuong Dinh Hue on November 23 sent a letter of congratulations to Markéta Pekarová Adamová on her election as President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Parliament of the Czech Republic.

In his letter, Hue noted with pleasure the strong and extensive development of the traditional friendship and multi-faceted cooperation between Vietnam and the Czech Republic.

Cooperation between legislative agencies of the two countries has also been maintained and promoted, both bilaterally and multilaterally, he said.

The top legislator expressed his hope to work together with Adamová to further deepen the friendship and fruitful collaboration between the two countries as well as the two legislative bodies in a more sustainable, effective and practical manner, for the sake of the two countries’ people, and for peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world./.

Workshop looks to bolster medical product commercialisation

A workshop promoting trade in Chemical-Pharmaceutical Technology and Medical Equipment took place in Hanoi on November 23.

The event was jointly arranged by the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) and Australia’s Aus4Innovation Programme.

At the workshop, the VAST introduced 10 most outstanding medical products researched in the past two years to promote cooperation and technology transfer with firms, together with product commercialisation.

Businesses can place orders with scientists from the VAST to study solutions to address their current challenges. This is the first time that the VAST has changed its approach to match with entrepreneurs’ concern, said Assoc. Prof., Dr Phan Tien Dung of the institute.

Scientists at the event responded to queries fielded by businesses, expressing their hope to collaborate with pharmaceutical firms to manufacture and distribute herbal products to the market.

The VAST over the years has stepped up cooperation with firms as well as innovation work so as to translate research activities into reality, address challenges and sharpen competitive edge of domestic firms and the country as a whole.

The institute received "Innovation Award” in South and Southeast Asia by the UK’s Clarivate in 2020 and this year./.

Voters in Da Nang updated with outcomes of parliamentary session

Politburo member and Permanent Member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong and other National Assembly (NA) deputies of Da Nang met with voters in the central city on November 23.

Tran Chi Cuong, deputy head of the NA deputies’ delegation of the city, reported on the outcomes of the 15th NA’s second session, held from October 20 to November 13, and the delegation’s performance in the recent past.

Local voters expressed their support for the outcomes of the session, as well as the strong directions by central and municipal authorities.

Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Nguyen Van Quang, head of the delegation, called on city dwellers to uphold their sense of responsibility towards themselves and their families and stay alert to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Da Nang is striving for all eligible persons to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of November, he noted, adding that it is also working to provide assistance for pandemic-hit people and enterprises.

Appreciating voters’ opinions, Politburo member and Permanent Member of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat Vo Van Thuong said the 13th National Party Congress identified measures for pushing ahead with the fight against corruption and negative phenomena, and that there are no off-limits zones in this regard.

In terms of socio-economic development, he said the plan to build a financial centre in the city is a great stride, but it needs thorough, serious, and responsible preparations. Therefore, local leaders should prepare and report to central agencies early.

He added Da Nang has obtained significant development achievements, but there are also shortcomings which local officials have been striving to deal with.

Meetings between NA deputies and voters are regular activities before and after each session of the National Assembly./.

Quang Binh’s border guards donate medical supplies to Lao counterparts

The Border Guard Command of the central province of Quang Binh on November 23 presented medical supplies and equipment worth 400 million VND (over 17,000 USD) to their counterparts in the Lao border province of Khammouane to support them in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in recent times have affected joint patrols between the two border forces.

Overcoming difficulties and challenges, the border forces of the two provinces have taken many measures and closely coordinated to firmly protect national sovereignty and border security. The two sides also have also actively popularised and educated their people on the Vietnam-Laos special friendship and solidarity and border law. They also strictly abide by and implement legal documents on the Vietnam - Laos border that the governments of the two countries had signed.

During the hand-over ceremony, the two forces discussed the political-security situation, and coordination in border protection as well as sharing experience in the fight against COVID-19.

The donation has contributed to strengthening the special solidarity between the border guards of Quang Binh and Khammouane, thus jointly building a borderline of friendship, peace, stability, cooperation and development between the two countries.

The two sides will enhance bilateral patrols, coordination in fighting and preventing crimes, especially drug-related crimes, illegal cross-border travel in order to improve the effectiveness of COVID-19 prevention and control, and firmly protect the Vietnam-Laos shared borderline./.

Wake-up call for antimicrobial resistance

The overuse and misuse of antibiotics by consumers are regarded as key drivers of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in Vietnam, according to Dr. Kidong Park, WHO Representative to Vietnam.

In an exclusive interview with the Vietnam News Agency’s reporter, Dr. Park stressed that the AMR situation in Vietnam is “alarming”.

“Recent findings from Vietnam’s antimicrobial resistance surveillance report based on data collected from 16 sentinel hospitals in 2019, showing about 82 percent of Acinetobacter bacteria became outsmart carbapenems.”

Self-medication behaviours among the public and the accessibility of antibiotics over-the counter without prescription are blamed to the misuse and overuse of the drug, the WHO representative said.Dispensing antibiotics without prescriptions is a matter of fact in Vietnam.

Studies in the northern Vietnam have revealed that 90 percent of pharmacies disregarded the Ministry of Health’s regulation by selling their antibiotics without prescription, Dr. Park said.

Thai Ngoc Tam, a resident in Mo Lao ward, Ha Dong district, said whenever she had a cough and felt unwell, she often went to the drug store in the neighbourhood to buy antibiotics.

“The pharmacist advised me the drug that can treat my illness. If I could not get recovery in a few days, I would change another kind of antibiotics and when things did not get better, I would go to see the doctor”, she said. 

Over-the counter antibiotics sales coupled with the misconception of public toward those durgs both of which implicated in the overuse and misuse of antibiotics.

A pharmacist in Thanh Xuan district, Hanoi, said she always asked her customers about prescriptions before selling antibiotics to them, but most of them did not have. However, she decided to let them get drugs or else she would lose customers.

Antibiotics are one of mankind’s most important discoveries. They allow human to survive serious bacterial infections. However, as human keep misusing and overusing antibiotics, they could be back to where they were a century ago, being at the mercy of pathogens and not surviving even routine infections, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

At a recent ceremony to launch the World Antimicrobial Awareness (WAAW) Advocacy Event for Vietnam, Dr. Kidong Park, WHO Representative to Vietnam said antimicrobial resistance poses a “fundamental threat” to human health and remains one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. 

He stressed that global consumption of antibiotics in humans has risen in the past two decades, primarily driven by an increased use in low- and middle-income countries.

Antibiotics no longer perform miracle if they are overused or misused since superbugs mutate to resist antibiotics.

According to Deputy Director of the Ministry of Health’s Department for Medical Examination and Treatment Management Cao Hung Thai, AMR has been sparked by inappropriate use of antibiotics while the infection prevention work in Vietnam remains ineffective, resulting in the development of drug-resistant pathogens.

AMR increases mortality rate, medical costs, as well as economic burden on families and societies, Hung underscored.

In 2021, the Ministry of Health issued numerous instructions on COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment, including guidelines on the use of antibiotics in bacterial superinfection treatment.

Besides, the ministry has arranged training courses and seminars on management of antibiotic use in hospitals.

The ministry is expected to the Government an AMR prevention strategy during 2022-2026.

Over the past two years, with the complicated situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam, increasing people’s awareness about the use of antimicrobials with “five rights” applied: the right patient, the right drug, the right dose, the right route, and the right time has been enhanced.

In 2013, Vietnam became the first country in the WHO’s Western Pacific Region to approve a national action plan to combat AMR.

Following approval of the national action plan to combat AMR during the 2013-2020 period, the Ministry of Health has joined hands with the WHO and competent agencies to carry out a wide range of activities to implement the plan.

One of the focuses is to raise public awareness of the global antimicrobial resistance, and to encourage best practices among the public, health workers and policy makers through the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (WAAW) held annually from November 18-24.

The WHO representative to Vietnam also highly commended Vietnam’s efforts in the fight against AMR, including improving advocacy and awareness of patients and consumers on the rational use of antimicrobials. 

Since Vietnam is in an “alarming” ARM situation, Dr.Park highlighted the necessary to handle AMR from a multi-sectoral approach, describing it a “key for success” to fight the AMR.

This includes “coordination and collaboration across Ministries of Health, Agriculture and Rural Development, Trade and Industry, Natural Resources and Environment and others”.

Vietnam should strengthen its system for AMR surveillance and develop its system for monitoring antimicrobial consumption and use at national, hospital and community levels.

Although antimicrobial stewardship programmes have been established in the health sector, more data on antimicrobial consumption and use to guide policy making and guidelines are needed to optimise the use of antimicrobial medicines and address ARM effectively, he added./.

Initiative supports businesses to address social, gendered impacts of COVID-19

A project was launched on November 22 to enhance the resilience of social impact businesses and contribute to reducing the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable groups, especially women and girls.

It is jointly carried out by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI), and the Embassy of Canada to Vietnam.

The project entitled ‘Leveraging Vietnam’s Social Impact Business Ecosystem in Response to COVID-19’, ISEE-COVID project, will be implemented in three years with a total budget of 3.1 million CAD (2.44 million USD) mainly funded by the Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and some correspondent fund from UNDP and the Government of Vietnam.

The project will apply an ecosystem approach to tackle the inter-connected and systemic challenges that social impact businesses (SIBs) face. It will improve the capacity of SIBs themselves; build the capacity of and coordination between SIB intermediaries; and strengthen government policy making capacities for enabling SIBs.

Canadian Ambassador Paul Deborah said SIBs provide incredible value to vulnerable communities in Vietnam in response to COVID-19, as well as contribute to sustainable and inclusive economic development. 

“Our shared ambition is to improve the effectiveness of SIBs, especially those led by women, as a means to address the social and gendered impacts of COVID-19 as well as strengthen the SIB regulatory environment in order to enhance their social and environmental contributions in the communities they serve,” she underlined.

The project prioritises support to SIBs in four key industries heavily impacted by COVID-19, namely sustainable agriculture, sustainable tourism, education, and health. These are also areas with a large female workforce and many SIBs offering innovative solutions dedicated to reducing poverty rates among women and girls.

For his part, Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Tran Duy Dong said the MPI has implemented many practical programmes and activities to support vulnerable groups and sponsored a number of vulnerable groups.

The project is expected contribute to improving the capacity of SIBs, thus helping vulnerable groups including women, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities; build capacity and strengthen coordination among intermediaries to support social impact businesses; strengthen the capacity of state agencies in policy formulation and implementation, thus creating favorable conditions for the development of social impact businesses, he remarked.

The new project is expected to support 300 SIBs with seed funding and market access, thus creating potentially 9,000 jobs for vulnerable people. Ninety SIBs will benefit from revenue increases and develop plans to cope with COVID-19 and future shocks, while 05 SIBs will have business plans that integrate gender and/or environment and climate change.

Meanwhile, at least four gender responsive policies are expected to be developed or revised. An impact business network of at least 100 members would be established. The network would support an impact measurement and management system pilot for 5-10 SIBs.

UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen highlighted the timeliness of the project in supporting vulnerable groups and businesses in overcoming the prolonged and damaging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. She emphasised to crucial role of the private sector in general, and social impact businesses in particular, in recovering and building forward better.

She said she strongly believes that the shared development vision, the commitment of innovation-enabling government, combined with the creativity and innovations of social impact business ecosystem stakeholders will strengthen the resilience and accelerate the development of SIBs in Vietnam.

“This in turn is foundational to leaving no one behind and achieving the SDGs,” she said./.

75-year Vietnam Red Cross Society: For everyone, in everywhere

Since its establishment on November 23, 1946, the Vietnam Red Cross Society (VRC) has made great contributions to national construction and defence as well as poverty reduction and social welfare policy implementation.

As a humanitarian and social organisation which gathers all Vietnamese people at home and abroad regardless of their class, ethnicity, religion and gender to carry out humanitarian activities, the VRC is a member of the Vietnamese Fatherland Front and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Throughout the glorious history of the nation, the VRC has contributed to ensuring political stability and implementing humanitarian activities to realise the International Humanitarian Law in Vietnam during the two resistance wars.

In the “Doi Moi” (Renewal) cause, the VRC has been one of the pioneering organisations in supporting people hit by disasters inside and outside the country, contributing to implementing the foreign policy of the Party and State.

After 75 years of development, to date, the VRC has had over 15,000 full-time officials, more than 3.4 million members, 383,000 volunteers and over 3.5 million youngsters and adolescents in 23,900 member organisations.

In the past five years, the VRC has made positive contributions to major humanitarian movements and campaigns of the country. The programme to support the poor and Agent Orange/dioxin victims in the Lunar New Year festival have raised nearly 5.5 trillion VND, while the campaign of “Each organisation, each individual sponsors a humanitarian address” has received 536 billion VND for 415 addresses. The humanitarian blood donation programme has also collected 6.5 million blood units. At the same time, 1.93 trillion VND has been raised for disaster prevention and control activities.

Particularly, in 2018, for the first time, the VRC launched a Humanitarian Month, which has become an annual event in May each year across the country since 2021, aiming to call for joint efforts in supporting the needy. After four years, the Humanitarian Month has assisted nearly 3.7 million people with total assistance of over 1.54 trillion VND. Over the past two years, 915 billion VND has been raised for COVID-19 prevention and control activities.

In the 2020-2021 period, amid difficulties brought by COVID-19, the VRC has initiated many flexible humanitarian models, including the free rice ATM, support packages for people in locked-down areas, and assistance in farm produce sale.

In the first half of 2021, total value of humanitarian aid that the VRC has raised reached over 2.7 trillion VND for 10.3 million needy people.

In recognition of the VRC’s contributions, the Party and State have presented many norble rewards to the organisation, including the Labour Order, first class and second class, Independence Order, first class, and Ho Chi Minh Order (two times in 1998 and 2011).

According to the VRC Central Committee, in the future, the VRC will focus on effectively organising humanitarian models and activities, strengthening communications, developing its volunteer force and speeding up digital transformation to adapt to the Fourth Industrial Revolution./.

 

Vietnam wishes to lift ties with Japan to new height: Japanese media

Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has granted an interview to the Japanese media ahead of his official visit to the Northeast Asian country, saying that Vietnam wishes to bring bilateral relations to a new height.

Responding in writing to questions from NHK, PM Chinh said he is honoured to become the first foreign leader to be invited to Japan since the Kishida administration was launched, noting that Vietnam is eager to take bilateral relations to the next level for the sake of peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region and beyond.

Nikkei Asia reported that in an interview granted to press outlets of Japan, PM Chinh affirmed Vietnam is committed to restoring supply chains after its coronavirus lockdown disrupted a key production base for global companies.

He said Vietnam has shifted from the “zero COVID” strategy to the “living safely with COVID” approach to seek ways for effectively controlling the spread of the pandemic. He also thanked the Japanese Government and people for presenting 4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Vietnam, according to Nikkei Asia.

Vietnam contributes to success of ASEAN - China special summit: official

Vietnam made active contributions to the recent ASEAN - China special summit to commemorate the 30th anniversary of bilateral dialogue relations, Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the ASEAN SOM Vietnam Nguyen Quoc Dung has affirmed.

According to the Deputy FM, from the very beginning, Vietnam backed China's proposal to hold a special summit to celebrate the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-China dialogue relations. Then, it actively participated in the preparation and negotiations to achieve the Joint Statement of the summit.

At the event, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh contributed his voice to reviewing important results that ASEAN-China relations have achieved during the past 30 years as well as raising expectations for the this relationship in the near future.

He affirmed that the comprehensive strategic partnership that ASEAN and China established recently is a demonstration of their cooperation achievements over the last 30 years, on the basis of political trust, friendly and comprehensive cooperation, and mutual respect and understanding.

He held that ASEAN and China should continue enhancing strategic trust, promoting comprehensive cooperation, and multiplying achievements towards higher goals and greater benefits for bilateral relations.

Vietnam contributes to success of ASEAN - China special summit: official hinh anh 2
Deputy Foreign Minister and head of the ASEAN SOM Vietnam Nguyen Quoc Dung (Photo: VNA)
Deputy FM Dung said that during the summit, PM Chinh underlined the core factors of cooperation, which are jointly maintaining peace, stability, and cooperation for development in an environment still full of uncertainties; upholding attainments and further strengthening ties to effectively cope with emerging global challenges, thus contributing to the comprehensive, inclusive, prosperous, safe, and sustainable development of each party.

The Vietnamese PM suggested China create more favourable conditions for export items from ASEAN; ensure trade balance; increase connectivity by investing in high technology, innovation, infrastructure development, digital transformation, green growth, sustainable development, climate change prevention; and resume people-to-people exchange soon.

Basing on the friendly neighbourliness and traditional cooperation with China, the Vietnamese leader affirmed Vietnam will keep doing its utmost to help develop the ASEAN - China relations on a par with their comprehensive strategic partnership, and significantly contribute to regional and global peace, security, stability, cooperation, and sustainable development, thereby bringing about practical benefits to each country, ensuring prosperity and happiness for all people, and leaving no one behind.

According to Dung, the most important outcome of the summit is the establishment of the ASEAN - China comprehensive strategic partnership.

General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the country Xi Jinping affirmed that his country will continue supporting ASEAN members with many specific measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic and promote recovery toward sustainable development while helping the bloc realise the Community Vision 2025.

Discussing the regional and international situation, participants agreed to jointly build the East Sea into a sea of peace, security, stability, and cooperation. They emphasised the importance of building trust, respecting international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and settling disputes by peaceful means.

They pledged to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and promote the building of an effective and substantive Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) that is in line with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS, stated Dung./.

Bac Giang launches Lifelong Learning Week 2021

The People’s Committee of the northern province of Bac Giang has held a ceremony to launch the Lifelong Learning Week in 2021 via videoconference with connections to more than 700 locations in 10 districts and cities across the province.

This year, the Lifelong Learning Week is themed “Digital transformation and chances for lifelong learning for all amid COVID-19”.

Addressing the event, Standing Vice Chairman of the committee Mai Son said that amid the globalisation context where the world is entering an era of high technology with challenges from COVID-19 pandemic, digital transformation has become a new trend of learning, helping people broaden their vision, enriching knowledge and sharpen their skills of working effectively.

The Lifelong Learning Week is a chance to honour, maintain and promote the tradition of studiousnes of Vietnamese people, he said.

Son held that lifelong learning, along with the strengthening of digital transformation, especially amid COVID-19 pandemic, will help form a society in which all individuals are active in learning, and all people become more closely together. Lifelong learning also serves as a source of happiness and help people improve themselves, he added.

The official asked the provincial Education and Training sector strengthen communications to raise its officials’ awareness of and responsibility as well as determination in implementing digital transformation. Schools should increase the application of information technology in both managing and teaching activities, he stressed.

He advised students to make full use of time, opportunities as well as support from teachers and studying tools as well as the Internet to learn more effectively. Alongside, they should optimise their knowledge by applying them into real life, he said.

He requested the Vietnam Fatherland Front Committee, organisations, associations and local government in localities to mobilise resources from the community for learning, while raising public awareness of the obligations and responsibilities in building a learning society.

With the motto of “education and training is the leading national policy,” and investing in education is investing in development,” over the years, the Education and Training sector of Bac Giang has overcome difficulties to make positive changes in the sector’s performance, with expanded schools and classrooms.

To date, the province has had 760 education and training establishments, 691 of which have met national standards, reaching 92.1 percent. The overall education quality has been improved, with an increasing number of students showing good academic performance and successful entering universities and colleges through years, many of whom took the top positions in university entrance exams.

Meanwhile, 75 percent of total households have become learning families. Many students from poor families have risen from difficulties to become successful in studying.

At the event, participants witnessed a teaching session themed “Skills to become digital citizens” conducted via Microsoft Teams (Office 365) app.

Earlier this year, the Prime Minister issued a decision approving the project "Building a society of learning in the 2021-2030 period".

The project sets targets of 90 percent of provinces to achieve the literacy standards at Level 2, 100 percent to complete preschool education universalisation for preschool children, and 70 percent to meet the standard of universal primary education at Level 3 by 2030.

It also strives for 70 percent of people in the working age to be equipped with information capacity and living skills, 60 percent aged from 15 trained in technical and professional qualifications, and 15 percent having a university degree or higher.

In order to achieve the above goals, the project offers a number of tasks and solutions such as disseminating and raising awareness about building a learning society, completing relevant mechanisms and policies, promoting the implementation of digital transformation and application of information technology in the organisation of lifelong learning activities./.

Vietnam, UK keen on fostering parliamentary cooperation

Speaker of the UK House of Lords John Francis McFall hosted a reception for Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK Nguyen Hoang Long in London on November 22.

Expressing his delight at the growing ties between the UK and Vietnam over the years, McFall affirmed his willingness to support Vietnam and the Vietnamese Embassy in implementing activities to promote bilateral friendship and strategic partnership in the time to come, including the exchange of delegations and bilateral cooperation through the parliamentary channel. He hailed Vietnam’s efforts in fighting COVID-19.

For his part, Ambassador Long reviewed major milestones in the Vietnam-UK relationship over the past 50 years, including the issuance of the Joint Statement on the Vietnam-UK Strategic Partnership: Development Orientation in the Next 10 Years", and the signing of the bilateral free trade agreement (UKVFTA) in 2020.

Both sides reached important agreements during Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh’s trip for the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and a working visit to the UK from October 31 to November 3, he noted, adding that during the visit, the two countries defined science-technology, renewable energy and green finance as priorities in their cooperation in the time to come.

On the occasion, the Vietnamese diplomat suggested that McFall assist Vietnam in implementing major cooperation programmes and projects and enhancing the legal capacity, while increasing the exchange of parliamentarian delegations.

Over the years, the parliaments of Vietnam and the UK have enjoyed effective collaboration, especially through the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).

Le Quang Huy attended the COP26 Parliamentary Meeting and met with head of the parliamentarians’ delegation. In October last year, the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the APPG held the first dialogue via videoconference with the theme of “cooperation in green economic development post-COVID-19”. Despite COVID-19 impacts, both sides have maintained exchanges and sped up cooperation programmes./.

Friendship Order bestowed upon former Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam

Vietnamese Ambassador to the US Ha Kim Ngoc presented the Friendship Order from the President to Lianys Torres Rivera, former Ambassador of Cuba to Vietnam, at a ceremony on November 22.

Ambassador Rivera served as the Cuban Ambassador to Vietnam from 2017 to 2020. She was appointed as Chargé d'affaires of Cuba in the US in March this year.

In his speech, Ambassador Ngoc said the honour shows the recognition and respect of the Party, State and people of Vietnam for important contributions of the Cuban diplomat in strengthening and deepening the traditional and faithful relationship and cooperation between the two Parties, States and people.

On the basis of the fraternal solidarity that has been fostered over the past more than 60 years, and during Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera’s tenure in Vietnam, the relationship between the two countries witnessed fruitful development with a series of bilateral cooperation agreements implemented, and hundreds of all-level visits of the two nations’ leaders arranged, especially General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong’s visit to Cuba in March 2018.

Ambassador Ngoc said he believes that in any position, the ambassador always contributes to the development of the traditional friendship between Vietnam and Cuba.

For her part, Ambassador Lianys Torres Rivera expressed her honour to receive Vietnam’s Friendship Order, saying that her three-year tenure in Vietnam was a memorable and proud time.

She expressed her appreciation for the love of Vietnamese people for Cuba and the traditional solidarity and friendship between the two countries, saying that with her family, Vietnam has become their second home.

The ambassador took the occasion to thank the Vietnamese Party and State, as well as close friends who have always actively supported her to perform well her duty, promising that she will do her best to further contribute to the Vietnam - Cuba traditional friendship./. 

Winners of “Young Francophone Reporters” competition announced

Winners of the “Young Francophone Reporters” competition 2021, the sixth of its kind, have been announced, organisers said on November 22.

There are five main prizes and some auxiliary prizes, the organisers said, noting that the first prize, including a laptop worth 20 million VND and one-year free readership of Le Courrier du Vietnam, came to two students from Ho Chi Minh City.

This year’s competition aims to encourage youths to express their opinions on the role of women in Vietnam and the world, as well as on gender equality.

Doan Thi Y Vi, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Le Courrier du Vietnam, a weekly French language newspaper of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), who is co-chairperson of the organising board, said the competition attracted 135 entries from 122 individuals and groups of authors from provinces and cities across the country.

According to Nguyen Hong Nga, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Le Courrier du Vietnam and head of the jury of the semi-final round, apart from articles on the COVID-19 pandemic, there are articles featuring the preservation of cultural identities, and charity activities towards victims of natural disasters in the central region, among others.

Chékou Oussouman, Chief Representative of the Asia-Pacific Regional Office (RBAP) of the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), who is co-chairperson of the organising board, said the entries have reflected women’s courage to overcome difficulties.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the award ceremony has not been held in-person. Therefore, the organisers made a video clip to announce the winners of the contest, which was posted on the fanpage of Le Courrier du Vietnam./.

Vietnam reviews implementation of Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration

Vietnam’s implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) was reviewed at a conference co-organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on November 22.

The event, held both online and in-person, brought together 250 delegates from competent agencies, ministries and international organisations.

The participants sought ways to raise the efficiency of the GCM implementation, and looked into Vietnam’s national report to be presented at the International Migration Review Forum scheduled for May 2022 in New York.

The foreign ministry is coordinating with relevant ministries and agencies to complete the report and send it to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

The International Migration Review Forum shall take place every four years beginning in 2022. Each edition of the International Migration Review Forum will result in an intergovernmentally agreed Progress Declaration.

In his remarks, Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung pointed out challenges to migration management amid the COVID-19 pandemic, especially given the complexity of illegal migration activities.

Regarding Vietnam’s realisation of the plan implementing the GCM, he said despite a range of difficulties, ministries, agencies and localities have worked hard in this regard.

Sharing Dung’s views, Mihyung Park, Chief of Mission at the IOM Vietnam, said the pandemic has posed various difficulties to relevant sides, particularly migrants, making them one of the most vulnerable groups.

She, therefore, called on countries to step up efforts to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration.

Park spoke highly of Vietnam’s active contributions to the building and ratification of the GCM, as well as the country’s strong commitments to promoting safe, orderly and regular migration./.

Exhibition highlights Vietnam’s cultural heritage

The “Vietnam cultural heritage space” exhibition is taking place in both in-person and virtual formats to mark Vietnam Cultural Heritage Day (November 23).

The exhibition is open to public from November 22-27 at the Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Arts in Hanoi, while the online version is available from November 24 to the end of December on websites of the centre at http://trienlamvhnt.vn and of the Department of Cultural Heritage at http://dsvh.gov.vn.

It introduces Vietnamese intangible cultural heritages that have been honoured, along with the traditional costumes and musical instruments used in the heritages, including the Culture Space of Gong in Tay Nguyen, Bac Ninh love duet singing, and “Don ca tai tu” music and songs of southern Vietnam.

Particularly, the exhibition highlights the Mother Goddess worshipping ritual of Vietnamese people.

Alongside, cultural heritages in different localities, along with their typical traditional handicraft products, cuisines and specialties are also introduced.

Along with indoor section, the exhibition also has outdoor areas featuring products of traditional craft villages of the country.

The event aims to introduce, promote and honour cultural values of Vietnam to people inside and outside the country, while helping raise public awareness and responsibility in preserving and developing the values./.

Foreign tourists return to My Son Sanctuary after pandemic hiatus

More than 40 international tourists visited My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO-recognised world heritage site in Quang Nam province's Duy Xuyen district on November 22 after a long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During their trip, the holidaymakers enjoyed special art performances and festivals featuring the culture of Cham people, and participated in folk games. They were also treated to traditional dishes.

Phan Ho, director of the management board of the heritage site, said during the suspension, Vietnamese and Indian experts, and hundreds of skilled workers had restored Tower A in the sanctuary, which is now ready to welcome visitors.

Aleksei Fanberow, a tourist from Israel, said after a two-year pandemic hiatus, he has returned to Vietnam that is now safe with beautiful landscapes, and friendly and hospitable people.

Apart from foreign tourists, domestic vacationers have also registered for tours to My Son in the coming days.

Once the religious and political capital of the Champa Kingdom, the My Son Sanctuary is located within a hilly landscape in Duy Phu commune, Duy Xuyen district, about 70 km southwest of central Da Nang city and 40 km from Hoi An ancient town.

It is comprised of eight groups of 71 monuments built from the 7th to 13th centuries.

The sanctuary was recognised as a world cultural heritage site by UNESCO in 1999./.

UNSC: Vietnamese diplomat visits South Sudan as Chair of Committee 2206

Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, on his post as Chair of the UN Security Council (UNSC) Committee established pursuant to Resolution 2206 (2015) concerning South Sudan, conducted a field trip to the nation between November 16 and 20 to monitor its peace progress following the council’s related measures.

The trip, the first of the Committee since 2019, aimed to implement the council’s Resolution 2577 adopted in May 2021 to renew the arms embargo, travel ban and assets freeze imposed on South Sudan for another year and extended for 13 months the mandate of the panel of experts tasked with helping to oversee those measures, while expressing its readiness to adjust them in light of conditions on the ground.

During the visit, the UNSC delegation held working sessions with President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit, First Vice President Riek Machar, and other Vice Presidents, Speaker of the nation’s Transitional National Legislative Assembly Jemma Nunu Kumba, members of the local council of ministers, and the leader of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), and other representatives of organisations and locals.

At these functions, Quy welcomed progresses made since the local Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) was established in February 2020.

The ambassador studied information and reviews of the Government and partners involved on South Sudan’s political, security and humanitarian situations; on local progress in the implementation of the 2018 peace and of the five criteria under Resolution 2577 (2021), which would create the basis for the UNSC to review and consider adjusting or lifting the arms embargo.

The council’s delegation also met with Vietnamese personnel serving the UNMISS and heard a report on their activities. Ambassador Quy commended their efforts, particularly of the medical personnel working at Vietnam’s third the second-level field hospital in Bentiu.

The Committee oversees the sanction measures imposed by the UNSC, with Vietnam holding its chairmanship for 2020 – 2021.

Vietnam officially joined the UN peacekeeping operations and sent a representative to join the UNMISS in 2014. Currently, Vietnam is deploying 63 people, including 13 females, for its third second-level field hospital in Bentiu./.

RoK businessman honoured with Friendship Order

Kim Sang Yeol, Founder and Chairman of Hoban Construction – one of the Republic of Korea’s top builders, has been honoured with Vietnam's Friendship Order in recognition for his outstanding contribution to promoting economic, cultural and educational exchanges and boosting the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries.

Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK Nguyen Vu Tung authorised by President Nguyen Xuan Phuc handed over the Friendship Order to Kim, who is former Honorary Consul General of Vietnam in the RoK's Gwangju-Jeonnam, at a ceremony held last week.

Speaking at the event, Ambassador Tung highly spoke of Kim’s six-year mission as the Honorary Consul General of Vietnam in Gwangju-Jeonnam, saying Chairman Kim has dedicated his efforts to supporting the Vietnamese community, particularly the Vietnamese Students’ Association in the RoK.

He has also played a part in advancing relations between the two countries’ localities, such as Quang Binh’s Ba Don town and Gwangju city’s Bukgu district (2016), and Quang Nam’s Hoi An Ancient Town and Gwangju city’s Gwangsan district (2017), and coordinated with the Embassy of Vietnam to welcome Vietnamese high-level delegations to the RoK, the diplomat said.

Kim, for his part, expressed his gratitude towards the State of Vietnam for the honour, saying he is committed to providing support for Vietnamese students and enhancing the Vietnam-RoK relations no matter which position he holds./.

President visits Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc on November 22 visited the Vietnam-Russia Tropical Centre in Hanoi, during which he lauded the centre's outstanding achievements over the past 30 years.

With the engagement of many scientific organisations of Russia and Vietnam, the centre has obtained important attainments in scientific research, focusing on tropical ecology, tropical endurance, and tropical biomedicine, as well as personnel training, he noted.

Especially, the centre has effectively applied modern equipment sponsored by Russia in COVID-19 prevention and control activities in many localities.

The research outcomes of the centre have contributed to dealing with security problems in both countries, reducing man-made disasters’ impacts, and extending the service life of military equipment and improving occupational health for military personnel in particular working conditions.

The centre has successfully built a SARS-CoV-2 testing procedure that has been recognised by the Ministry of Health, said the President.

He asked the centre to closely combine fundamental research with applied research as well as technology application and transfer, while strengthening the use of researching results and developing products with high science-technology contents.

The centre should expand research cooperation, modernising its infrastructure and technology to meet the demand of science-technology development in the new period, promoting its advantages in directly cooperating with and connecting science-technology and production facilities in Vietnam, Russia and other countries.

President Phuc said he believes that the centre will continue to make more achievements in the time to come, contributing to building elite and modern military and further promoting Vietnam-Russia friendship./.

Vietnam pledges more contributions to ASEAN - China ties

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has said Vietnam will keep doing its utmost to help develop the ASEAN - China relations on par with their comprehensive strategic partnership.

The Government leader made the remark at the ASEAN - China special summit to commemorate the 30th anniversary of bilateral dialogue relations which was held virtually on November 22.

He affirmed that the comprehensive strategic partnership that ASEAN and China established recently is a demonstration of their cooperation achievements over the last 30 years, on the basis of political trust, friendly and comprehensive cooperation, and mutual respect and understanding.

He held that ASEAN and China should continue enhancing strategic trust, promoting comprehensive cooperation, and multiplying achievements towards higher goals and greater benefits for bilateral relations.

Voicing his support for the cooperation directions identified by ASEAN and Chinese leaders, PM Chinh underlined the core factors of cooperation, which are jointly maintaining peace, stability, and cooperation for development in an environment still full of uncertainties; upholding attainments and further strengthening ties to effectively cope with emerging global challenges, thus contributing to the comprehensive, inclusive, prosperous, safe, and sustainable development of each party.

He stressed that to ensure peace, security, and stability in the region, especially in the East Sea, it is necessary for countries to boost dialogue, consolidate trust, comply with international law, act responsibly, together exert more efforts to fully implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC), keep stepping up the building of an efficient and effective code of conduct (COC) that is in accordance with international law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

He also expressed his hope that ASEAN and China will soon restore and foster economic, trade, and investment links.

The Vietnamese PM suggested China create more favourable conditions for export items from ASEAN; ensure trade balance; increase connectivity by investing in high technology, innovation, infrastructure development, digital transformation, green growth, sustainable development, climate change prevention; and resume people-to-people exchange soon.

Basing on the friendly neighbourliness and traditional cooperation with China, Vietnam will keep doing its utmost to help develop the ASEAN - China relations on a par with their comprehensive strategic partnership, and significantly contribute to regional and global peace, security, stability, cooperation, and sustainable development, thereby bringing about practical benefits to each country, ensuring prosperity and happiness for all people, and leaving no one behind, the PM added.

At the summit, ASEAN leaders highly valued the first-ever participation in an ASEAN - China summit by General Secretary of the Communist Party of China and President of the country Xi Jinping, which showed the top Chinese leader’s attention to ASEAN and the enhancement of bilateral ties.

Applauding the major achievements since 1991, the two sides described the ASEAN - China relations as mutually beneficial, dynamic, and substantive, and that the establishment of the ASEAN - China comprehensive strategic partnership illustrates the important outcomes in their all-round cooperation over the last 30 years.

The Chinese leader affirmed that his country consistently views ASEAN as a focus of its neighbourhood foreign policy and supports the bloc’s centrality and growing stature in the region and the world.

Discussing the regional and international situation, participants agreed to jointly build the East Sea into a sea of peace, security, stability, and cooperation. They emphasised the importance of building trust, respecting international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS, and resolving disputes by peaceful means.

They pledged to fully and effectively implement the DOC and promote the building of an effective and substantive COC that is in line with international law and the 1982 UNCLOS.

At the end of the event, ASEAN and China leaders adopted a joint statement of the summit./.

HCM City proposes welcoming international visitors next month

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has proposed the city welcome fully vaccinated foreign tourists from December in a document submitted to the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In Vietnam, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is temporarily recognising "vaccine passports" of more than 70 countries and territories, and in discussions with nearly 80 other partners for mutual recognition of the special passports. Five localities – Kien Giang, Khanh Hoa, Quang Ninh, Quang Nam, and Da Nang – have been approved by the Government to pilot the policy of welcoming international guests using "vaccine passports". These are the preconditions for the reopening of international tourism activities in the southern city.

Vice Chairwoman of the municipal People's Committee Phan Thi Thang said the city also has other necessary conditions to welcome foreign visitors such as high vaccination rate and a capable health system, which is ready in terms of human, material resources, medical equipment and supplies and experienced in handling situations arising in COVID-19 prevention and control.

According to Nguyen Thi Anh Hoa, director of the municipal Tourism Department, the local sector is making efforts to overhaul its products, with a focus on the local green, cultural, and historical features and on building high-end services shopping malls in the long run.

If approved by the Prime Minister, from this December, the southern economic hub will pilot allowing qualified international travel agencies to host visitors under a closed package tour programme. The tourists, coming to the city via charter and regular international flights, are only able to visit, eat, and rest according to a predetermined route to ensure COVID-19 safety measures.

Eligible foreign holiday-makers need to meet several conditions including receiving authorised certificates of their full vaccination at least 14 days and less than 12 months prior to their arrival, or recovery from the coronavirus; as well as having negative test results in 72 hours before departure and owning health or tourism insurance cards.

Meanwhile, the local tourism service suppliers have to strictly follow pandemic prevention regulations, with all workers involved fully vaccinated and lodging facilities arranging temporary quarantine areas for any suspected cases. The tourism sector has so far prepared options for tackling the detection of COVID-19 infections during the process.

Then, in January 2022, the city will welcome international guests and possibly combine many destinations between it and localities, which are also allowed to welcome guests. From April 2022, it is expected to fully reopen to the international tourist market.

In addition, the authorities also proposed to reopen some international routes from HCM City to San Francisco, Los Angeles (the US), London (the UK), and Frankfurt (Germany)./.

Deputy Minister of National Defence promoted to Senior Lieutenant General

President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Chairman of the National Defence and Security Council and commander of the armed forces, presented to Deputy Minister of National Defence Pham Hoai Nam a decision on the deputy minister's promotion from the rank of Rear Admiral to Senior Lieutenant General at a ceremony on November 22.

Addressing the ceremony, President Phuc hailed Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nam's firm political stance, good morality and excellent professional performance, stressing that the well-trained and experienced officer has held many key posts and fulfilled all the assigned tasks.

Underlining that the promotion demonstrates the trust of the Party, State, Central Military Commission and Ministry of National Defence in the officer, the State leader expressed hope that Sen. Lieut. Gen. Nam will continue to show utmost loyalty to the Party, State, military and people, while continuing to improve his capacity in all fields.

He asked the Deputy Minister to continue directing the development of a modern defence industry, thus meeting the demand for weapons and technical equipment of the military, and contributing to the national industrialisation and modernisation./.

International conference shares experience in promoting science communication

Vietnamese and foreign experts have shared ideas on science communication on issues related to COVID-19 pandemic and climate changes during a virtual conference jointly held by the Academy of Journalism and Communications (AJC) and the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC).

Addressing the opening session, Prof. Noam Chomsky from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology held that science communication is playing an increasingly important role amidst urgent global issues such as climate change and COVID-19 and chaotic social media.

He stressed the need for journalists and scientists to shake hands in providing accurate and reliable information to the public.

For his part, Associate Prof. Dr. Pham Minh Son, Director of the AJC said that the press and science communication have played an important part in the fight against COVID-19 by providing full scientific information and knowledge to the public.

He held that the conference is a chance for Vietnamese and foreign experts to evaluate the effects of science communications on the pandemic and share experience on solutions to bring scientific information to the community.

The conference has three sessions on November 20, November 27 and December 4. In the November 27 session, Vietnamese scholars will share experience of Vietnam in the fight against fake news related to COVID-19, contributing to efforts in stamping out the pandemic./.

France-Vietnam Friendship Association affirms continued support for Vietnam

The France-Vietnam Friendship Association (AAFV) has affirmed its continued support for and solidarity with the Vietnamese people in accordance with the situation of the two countries and the world at large, with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and global warming, and regional and world tensions taken into account.

The AAFV held its 17th national congress and a ceremony to mark its 60th founding anniversary in Montreuil, on November 19-20.

Vietnamese Ambassador to France Dinh Toan Thang appreciated the contributions made by the AAFV - one of the oldest friendship associations with Vietnam – over the past 60 years.

He quoted Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh during his working session with AAFV representatives in his recent official visit to France as saying that Vietnam always keeps in mind the sentiments and valuable contributions of many generations of AAFV leaders and members to Vietnam.

In 2019 and 2020, the association carried out 27 projects totaling over 100,000 EUR (112,000 USD) in 16 Vietnamese provinces and cities, supporting poor households, providing scholarships for poor students with good learning performances, and assisting Agent Orange/dioxin victims.

The AAFV said in its report that after its working session with PM Chinh on November 5, it sent a letter to France’s authorised offices showing its wish that the two sides will intensify cooperation within the Strategic Partnership framework and develop cooperation opportunities through the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement, and France will ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement, and propose the EU remove its “yellow card” warning related to illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing against Vietnam.

In the time ahead, the association vowed to step up activities to introduce the image of Vietnam’s nation and people, and support cooperation activities between the two countries.

Within the framework of the congress, a talk themed “Climate change in the 21st century and direct impacts on Vietnam, a photo exhibition featuring Vietnam’s dioxin victims, a lacquer painting exhibition, and another introducing Vietnam’s newspapers and magazines were also held./.

Source: VNA/VNS/VOV/VIR/SGT/SGGP/Nhan Dan 

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