Cambodia’s website quoted President of the Southeast Asian Football Federation (AFF) Khiev Sameth as saying he is impressed with the progress and contributions of Vietnamese football in the regional games and hoped that Vietnam will book tickets to the 2026 FIFA World Cup final.

In an article related to the 2023 AFF annual congress taking place in Ho Chi Minh City recently entitled "AFF President: Vietnam will book tickets to the 2026 World Cup", the Cambodian website displayed images of the Vietnam's men's and women's football teams at regional tournaments. It also shows the rankings of the World Football Federation (FIFA), with Vietnam in the leading position in the Southeast Asian region.

According to the article, the head of the regional football organisation congratulated the success of the AFF annual congress and expressed his belief that Vietnam will win a place in the 2026 World Cup final.

The President praised the achievements of Vietnamese football, especially the women's football team participating for the first time in the 2023 World Cup. He emphasised that Vietnam is aiming for the 2026 World Cup and hoped that the country will accomplish this goal."

In addition, he also appreciated the role and potential of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) with its contributions to the development of regional football. This is demonstrated through experience and professional ability as Vietnam successfully organised many important Southeast Asian and Asian football events.

Resolution on social policies reviewed at 13th Party Central Committee’s 8th plenum

The eighth plenum of the 13th Party Central Committee entered the fourth working day on October 5, focusing on reviewing the 10-year implementation of a resolution on a number of issues regarding social policies in the 2012-2020 period.

Discussions on the 10-year implementation of the resolution, issued by the 11th Party Central Committee during its fifth plenum, were presided over by Politburo member and National Assembly Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue.

In the afternoon, members of the committee discussed in groups on the 15-year implementation of the 10th Party Central Committee's Resolution 27/NQ/TW dated August 6, 2008 on the building of a contingent of intellectuals  in the national modernisation and industrialisation period.

Also on October 5, members of the Politburo and the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat gave their opinions on the absorption and explanation of issues discussed during the session.

As scheduled, the eighth plenum of the 13th Party Central Committee will take place until October 8.

Coastal localities tighten control over over illegal fishing

Coastal localities tighten control over over illegal fishing hinh anh 1
Provinces in the Mekong Delta rolled out measures to tighten inspection over illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing prevention and control.  (Photo: VNA)
The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre has rolled out measures to tighten inspection over illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing prevention and control activities in the locality.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Minh Canh said that the locality will launch a campaign against IUU fishing on mass media in preparation for receiving the European Committee (EC) inspection team this month.

Along with continuing to equip fishing boats with vessel monitoring systems (VMS), the province has focused on supervising the operation of vessels with a high risk of violating IUU fishing regulations and those operating in bordering waters.

It has coordinated with the coast guard force to handle arising issues at sea to prevent violations, while monitoring vessel activities in ports.

Since 2022, Ben Tre has deleted the registration of 643 vessels that no longer operate, while granting exploitation licences to 89.62% of the local fishing vessels.

From 2019, the province has crossed out and handled 28 vessels violating foreign waters, collecting an administrative fine of 20.15 billion VND (824,805 USD).

As part of efforts to combat IUU fishing, the central province of Quang Ngai on October 4 decided to fine the owners of two fishing vessels in Quang Ngai city with a fine of nearly 900 million VND for violations in fishing activities and vessel registration.

Over the years, Quang Ngai has worked hard to increase awareness and implement the Fisheries Law and fishing regulations among local fishermen, while strengthening supervision over IUU fishing activities, thus joining efforts to remove the EC’s “yellow card” on Vietnamese seafood export.

Earlier on October 2, Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Tran Phuoc Hien signed documents asking the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to coordinate with relevant agencies to inspect and handle 45 24m-long vessels losing VMS signals for more than 10 days.

Meanwhile, the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang is finalising preparations to receive the EC inspection team from October 10-15.

Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Quang Trong Thao said that the locality has committed to strong IUU combat, developing a responsible and sustainable fisheries sector by enforcing the Fishery Law 2017.

Thao said that the EC team will focus on examining the activities of vessels at fishing ports, the control of fishing violations on foreign waters, the implementation of regulations on VMS installation as well as regulations on registration and licence issuance for fishing vessels. They also plan to review the control over the origin of seafood exported to Europe. It will work with a number of local firms engaging in exporting seafood to Europe to inspect their dossiers and procedures of tracing product origin, he added.

Chairman of the Kien Giang People’s Committee Lam Minh Thanh asked the department to coordinate with other sectors to make documents for working sessions with the EC inspection team, clearly showing the locality’s determination and drastic actions in developing responsible and sustainable fisheries as well as preventing and fighting IUU fishing and observing EC recommendations.

So far, 99.32% fishing vessels with a length from 15m in Kien Giang have installed a VMS device, while the rate of vessels with daily VMS contact has reached 75%, 15% higher than the country’s average.

Vietnam, Singapore hold 14th defence policy dialogue

The 14th defence policy dialogue between Vietnam and Singapore took place under the chair of Vietnamese Deputy Minister of National Defence Sen. Lt. Gen. Hoang Xuan Chien and Singaporean Permanent Secretary for Defence Chan Heng Kee in Hanoi on October 5.

Chien said 2023 is a special year when the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations and 10 years of the strategic partnership, based on which defence cooperation has become increasingly substantive and effective.

Echoing the view, Chang said bilateral defence cooperation has substantially contributed to the strategic partnership, and that defence ties have continued developing strongly, especially since the signing of the agreement on bilateral defence cooperation in February 2022 and the cooperation plan for 2023 - 2025 in November the same year.

At the dialogue, the two sides discussed the international and regional situations and issues of common concern. They highly valued the role of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN-led mechanisms.

Chien emphasised Vietnam’s consistent foreign policy of independence, self-reliance, peace, friendship, multilateralisation and diversification of external relations, along with the “four no’s” defence policy – no military alliances, no siding with one country against another, no foreign military bases or use of the Vietnamese territory to oppose other countries, and no use of force or threat to use force in international relations.

Regarding the East Sea issue, Vietnam’s consistent viewpoint is to persistently resolve differences by peaceful means and on the basis of international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), he added.

The two officials said that on the basis of the signed documents and agreements, bilateral defence cooperation has continued to be carried out effectively and obtained positive results, especially all-level mutual visits, effectively maintained consultation and dialogue mechanisms, training cooperation, experience and information sharing, exchanges of young officers, and cooperation between military services and arms.

They agreed to keep making efforts to promote defence ties in the time ahead, with a focus on increasing delegation exchanges at all levels, especially high levels, to consult with each other and share viewpoints on issues of common concern and cooperation orientations in a timely manner; continuing to perfect cooperation frameworks and mechanisms; and boosting personnel training and collaboration between the countries’ naval and air forces.

Both sides also agreed to strengthen partnerships in potential areas such as cybersecurity, digital transformation, military medicine, defence industry, and legal affairs while continuing to consult with and support each other at multilateral forums and mechanisms led by ASEAN so as to make important contributions to the consolidation of ASEAN’s centrality.

On this occasion, Chien invited leaders of the Singaporean Ministry of Defence and businesses from the city state to attend the Vietnam International Defence Expo 2024.

Concluding the dialogue, Chien and Chan witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on cooperation in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief between the Office of the National Committee for Incident and Disaster Response, Search and Rescue of Vietnam and the Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Coordination Centre of Singapore.

Vietnam, US foster cooperation in global issues

Ambassador Dang Hoang Giang, Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the United Nations, had a working session with Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, US Representative to the UN, in New York on October 5 to discuss measures to strengthen cooperation between the two delegations in global issues at multilateral forums, including the UN.

This is an activity to implement and concretise the Joint Leaders' Statement on the Vietnam-US Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, which was approved by both sides during the recent State visit to Vietnam by US President Joe Biden.

The two ambassadors engaged in candid discussion and shared views on their priorities at the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly, areas of mutual concern such as sustainable development and compliance with international law, and regional and international peace and security issues, thereby narrowing differences, promoting mutual understanding and trust, and focusing on finding solutions to global and regional issues.

They agreed to maintain consultations and intensify cooperation, including the implementation of joint initiatives between the two delegations, in the spirit of the Joint Leaders’ Statement, thus contributing to further developing bilateral relations, and to peace, cooperation and sustainable development in the region.

Quang Ninh: Binh Lieu tourism week, festival promise memorable experiences for visitors

A series of cultural and tourism events will take place as part of the culture - tourism week and the yellow season festival of Binh Lieu, a border district in the northern province of Quang Ninh, from October 15 through the end of December.

The Binh Lieu People’s Committee said the activities aim to honour and introduce the district’s charming natural landscapes in autumn and winter such as terraced rice fields, the pampas grass flowering season, and the “so” (Camellia oleifera) flower season, along with unique cultural identities of local ethnic minorities such as Tay, Dao Thanh Y, Dao Thanh Phan, and San Chi to visitors from far and wide.

The culture - tourism week and the yellow (ripe rice) season festival will be opened on October 15 with a running tournament named the “Path of the yellow season” during which competitors will race through Khe O, Cao Thang and Ngan Pat hamlets of Luc Hon commune and nearby areas.

Meanwhile, the week opening ceremony is scheduled to take place at the December 25 Square in Binh Lieu township on October 21 evening.

A wide range of interesting activities will be held in Luc Hon commune throughout October, including the performance of new rice celebration rituals at Luc Na Communal House on October 21, paragliding from Cao Xiem Mountain over ripe rice fields on October 22, stand-up paddleboarding on the Tien Yen River, an exhibition of local agricultural and forestry products and those of the “One Commune, One Product” (OCOP) programme in Ngan Pat hamlet, and mountaineering and camping on Cao Xiem Mountain.

Folk sports and games like “nem con” (cloth ball throwing), crossbow shooting, tug of war, and pole pushing will be organised at terraced fields, houses of culture, and sports grounds of Ngan Pat, Khe O, Cao Thang, Ban Cau, and Luc Na hamlets. Visitors can also take check-in photos of the ripe rice season or experience new rice celebration rituals at families of Tay people.

The time from October to November is the most beautiful season in Binh Lieu, giving tourists a great chance to explore a “paradise” of flowering pampas grass, the “dinosaur spine” (the paths on the top of mountains), border markers, along with many other unique destinations including Luc Na Communal House, Hoanh Mo Border Gate, the Cao Son flower garden, Khe Van Waterfall, Song Mooc Waterfall, Cao Ba Lanh Mountain, and Cao Ly Mountain. A running tourney named “Dinosaur Spine - Marker 1305” also promises a worth-to-try experience.

In December, the opening ceremony of the “so” flower season will take place at the “so” forest in Dong Long hamlet of Dong Tam commune. Various cultural and sports activities will also be held on this occasion such as a cycling race, a display of literature and art works about the land of “so” flowers, musical and sports exchanges, folk games, and an exhibition of OCOP products.

Binh Lieu is blessed with a mild climate all year round, beautiful mountainous landscapes, many historical relic sites, and cultural diversity of ethnic groups.

To capitalise on these advantages, it has stepped up tourism promotion and investment attraction to this sector. Besides, it is working to implement a plan on sustainable tourism development in tandem with poverty reduction and socio-economic development in Binh Lieu. Other plans on preserving and promoting the cultural values of San Chi people in Luc Ngu village of Huc Dong commune and Dao people in Song Mooc village of Dong Van commune will also be carried out soon.

The district hopes to welcome 150,000 tourist arrivals in 2023 and over 800,000 by 2030.

Italy’s Lombardy region, Hanoi seek cooperation in sustainable development areas

Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Tran Sy Thanh on October 5 received President of Italy’s Lombardy region Attilio Fontana and an Italian delegation in Hanoi.

During the reception, Lombardy President Fontana highlighted the region's potential, strength, and advantages, and said that it expects to cooperate with Vietnam’s localities and Hanoi in particular in transport, smart urban areas, biological energy, green energy transition, education, high-quality human resources training and clean agriculture production.

For his part, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Tran Sy Thanh spoke highly of Lombardy’s socio-economic achievements. He emphasised the great potential for cooperation between Hanoi and Lombardy, while expressing his hope that the two sides will promote collaboration in infrastructure development, mechanics, renewal energy, environment and training in architecture and fashion.

The city leader highly appreciated the role of the Italian Embassy in Vietnam in promoting exchange and mutual understanding between the two countries' people, and promoting the strategic partnership between Vietnam and Italy and friendship and cooperation between Hanoi and Italian localities.

He said he hopes with support from local authorities and the Italian Embassy in Vietnam, Italian businesses in general and those from the Lombardy region in particular will strengthen cooperation with Hanoi for the interests of both sides

Tour of Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee headquarters attracts visitors

Tours exploring the headquarters of the People’s Committee and People’s Council of Ho Chi Minh City, a 114-year-old national architectural and artistic building, has attracted a huge number of local and foreign visitors.

According to the southern city’s Department of Tourism, as of October 1 the tour has welcomed nearly 5,000 domestic and international visitors.

The number of foreign holidaymakers keen on the programme has steadily been increasing, the department added.

Most notably, from now until December, visitors will not only have the chance to view some parts of the building and be given information about the history, architectural highlights, and function of the building, but they will be able to visit several exhibitions featuring beautiful landscapes. In addition, the exhibit will showcase the friendliness of local people through unique images.

Local people and visitors will be able to register a trip visiting the municipal People's Committee headquarters building at travel agents, the website, or by scanning the QR code.

The headquarters of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, previously known as the HCM City Hall or “L'Hôtel de Ville”, is one of the most ancient architectures in the southern metropolis.

It was built from 1898 to 1909 and was designed by the French architect Femand Gardès, drawing inspiration from the bell tower style in Northern France. Since 1975 the site has been the workplace of the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City.

The People’s Committee Building of Ho Chi Minh City was first recognised as a national architectural relic back in 2020.

Vietnam-Japan Friendship Golf Tournament held in Fukuoka

The Vietnam-Japan Friendship Golf Tournament 2023 took place in Japan’s Fukuoka prefecture on October 5 with the participation of 33 golfers.

The event was within the framework of an economic forum to connect Vietnamese and Japanese businesses and localities held by the Vietnamese General Consulate in Fukuoka to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the two countries’ diplomatic relations. 

On the occasion, golfers donated for children with disabilities in the prefecture.

Golf is one of the most popular sports in Japan. According to estimates by Alexandru Arba, a researcher specialising in Japan at Statista, in 2022, 10.52 million people in Japan used golf courses, an increase of nearly 13% compared to ten years ago./

Danang residents denounce tourism project for blocking beach

People in the central city of Danang’s Lien Chieu District have opposed a tourism project that blocks the access path to a local beach.

Trung Thuy Danang JS Company, the investor of the Nam O tourist site project, on September 9 closed one of five access paths to the beach in Hoa Hiep Nam Ward. The closure will last until December 31 during building work.According to local people, this path is the shortest way to the beach where around 300 boats are anchored. The path closure would make it difficult to relocate their boats in case of bad weather.A person in Hoa Hiep Nam Ward said that the four other paths to the beach are quite far from where the boats are anchored. Fishing and seafood transportation activities will be far more difficult with the path closed.

Local authorities and the project investors did not seek public opinions about the path closure.Many people asked the investor to consider opening another route to the beach to replace the closed path.

More attention should be paid to autistic children

The public should pay more attention to autistic children because currently there are almost no appropriate educational centers to care for them.

Deputy Minister of Education and Training Ngo Thi Minh chaired the seminar to seek opinions on the planning of the system of educational facilities for people with disabilities and inclusive education development support centers in the 2021-2030 period with a vision to 2050.

According to a report by the National Center for Special Education Research, regular schools are not ready to accept autistic students whereas there are 14 inclusive education development support centers by 2023 across the country, some 25 provincial-level special education schools, and 23 district-level special schools. Of these, only 2.9 percent of schools are designed for children with disabilities and 9.9 percent of schools have disability-inclusive and disability-accessible water and sanitation facilities.

Moreover, only 1/6 of primary schools and 1/10 of secondary schools have teachers who receive appropriate training to inclusively teach children with disabilities and 1/7 of preschool teachers have qualifications and experience in caring for disabled children.

According to assessments, the system of special centers is both lacking in quantity and unevenly distributed across regions. Many provinces and cities still do not have educational facilities for people with disabilities, but they are facing difficulties in establishing these facilities due to a lack of strategy and systematic planning; therefore, they failed to mobilize social financial contributions.

To help people with disabilities have better opportunities in education and to ensure fairness in access to education, the national overall goal is to develop a network of specialized educational establishments for people with disabilities and inclusive education development support centers to meet the needs of people with disabilities in accessing educational services in all localities throughout the country.

The Ministry of Education and Training aimed that at least 50 percent of provinces and cities in the country will have at least one center for inclusive education development support by 2025. By 2030, all provinces and cities nationwide will have at least one special educational center for these children.

Many seminar participants agreed with a planning system of educational facilities for people with disabilities and a system of centers for the development of inclusive education. A representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in Vietnam said that, in addition to comprehensive solutions, it is necessary to promote public communication and raise awareness about inclusive education for children with disabilities.

According to some participants, it is necessary to pay more attention to autistic children because currently there are almost no centers to care for and support autistic children. At the same time, there needs to be a policy to help people with disabilities get a job.

WWF Vietnam launches "Preserving the Forests - Reuniting with Saola" campaign

The World Wide Fund for Nature in Vietnam (WWF Vietnam) has launched a communication campaign to raise public awareness about forest protection and the conservation of the saola, one of the world's rarest and most endangered mammals.

The campaign, "Preserving the forests - Reuniting with Saola", was launched in early October as part of the "Saving Saola from the brink of extinction" project funded by the European Union (EU) through the Re:wild organization. It aims to raise awareness of the Saola's perilous status and to mobilize concrete action to protect this critically endangered species.

According to Nguyen Van Tri Tin, WWF-Vietnam's Wildlife Practice Lead, the move emphasizes that forest protection is a prerequisite for the conservation of this endangered endemic species and the protection of the ecosystem and community livelihoods.

In addition to involving communities nationwide, the campaign aims to raise awareness among youth aged 12-25 in six central provinces, including Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri, Thua Thien Hue and Quang Nam. These are also the areas where the "Saving the Saola from the Brink of Extinction" project is conducting an intensive search for the animal, Tri said.

He added that WWF-Vietnam and its partners would widely publicize the campaign through mass media and social networking platforms to encourage responses from prestigious journalists, artists and social influencers.

The "Save the Saola from the Brink of Extinction" project has three main activities: Identifying areas with the potential to detect Saola through the observation experience of local people; Field survey to detect the last remaining saola individuals in priority areas throughout the Central Truong Son region; Raising community awareness about saola conservation.

Saola, scientifically known as Pseudoryx nghetinhensis and often called the "Asian Unicorn", was discovered in north-central Vietnam in May 1992 during a joint survey by the former Vietnamese Ministry of Forestry and WWF. Saola can be recognized by two parallel horns with sharp ends that can reach 20 inches in length and are found in both males and females.

This rare species of mammal is threatened by poaching snares and habitat destruction from illegal logging and injudicious development. By the end of 2015, WWF-Vietnam's forest guards, recruited from local villages, had removed more than 75,000 snares and dismantled 1,000 poaching and illegal logging camps.

There may have been as many as 1,000 saolas at the end of the American war in Vietnam, but scientists estimate that only a few hundred or a few dozen remain in the wild today, according to WWF-Vietnam.

As a result, the saola is critically endangered and listed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species and Vietnam's Red Data Book.

"The saola symbolizes everything that's at stake for us. If we can save it, we can save our forests, wildlife and the ecosystem, including the freshwater that the people who live here depend on," Tri said.

He stressed that the saola and other endangered species are seriously threatened by human development activities. Since 2011, WWF-Vietnam has actively supported and implemented various activities to conserve the saola, such as establishing protected areas, conducting research, monitoring biodiversity, and recruiting forest guards to patrol and remove traps in protected areas.

Under the Carbon and Biodiversity (CarBi) project supported by Germany's KfW Development Bank, these areas have now grown into a network of protected areas throughout the saola's core range in Vietnam and Laos, covering more than 200,000 hectares of Truong Son forests.

Japan helps Vietnam strengthen flood warning capacity

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has actively cooperated with and supported the Vietnam Meteorological and Hydrological Administration (VNMHA) to improve its capacity in weather forecasting technology and flood early warning system.

To improve capacity, it's important to promote the use of information for regional disaster prevention in cooperation with related organizations, stated Mr. Naoyuki Hasegawa, former Director General of the Japan Meteorological Agency, at "Using Hydro-Meteorological Information for Disaster Risk Reduction in Vietnam" held in Hanoi on October 3. 

He highlighted the role of national meteorological and hydrological services in disaster risk reduction, sharing Japan's experience in developing techniques and improving the effectiveness of forecasting and warning activities.

The event is part of the "Strengthening Capacity in Weather Forecasting and Flood Early Warning System" project implemented by JICA and VNMHA.

The project has been implemented from 2018 to 2023, and this is the last seminar organized within its scope.

After five years, the project has contributed to strengthening the capacity of VNMHA in maintaining and improving the traceability of meteorological observation equipment, analyzing the statistics and controlling the quality of radar, forecasting/warning of heavy rain and typhoons, and disseminating meteorological information.

JICA will actively work with the Government and people of Japan to cooperate with and support VNMHA in improving forecasting capacity, thus contributing to the goal of developing Vietnam's hydro-meteorological services to meet the needs of socio-economic development, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.

For his part, Tran Quang Nang, Deputy Head of the Department of Hydro-Meteorological Forecast Management under VNMHA, gave a presentation on "The Current Status of Hydro-Meteorological Forecast for Disaster Risk Reduction Activities in Vietnam and Future Orientation" and Bui Hai Binh, Director of the Center for Weather, Vietnam Television, gave a presentation on "Natural Disaster Information Communication in the Context of Climate Change and Prospects of Cooperation between the Media Agency (VTV) and VNMHA in the 4.0 Era".

Int'l Day of Girl Child 2023: Promoting gender equality to reduce sex imbalance at birth

The International Day of the Girl Child 2023 will focus on promoting gender equality to reduce sex imbalance at birth, thus raising public awareness of child protection and care, according to the Ministry of Health’s General Office for Population and Family Planning.

In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness about gender equality in various areas such as education, nutrition, health care, and to encourage communities to enforce policies that support the role and status of women and girls in particular. This is particularly important for families that only have girls.

In Vietnam, gender imbalance at birth has been a demographic challenge since 2006. In 2015, the sex ratio at birth was very high at 112.8 boys per 100 girls. During the 2016-2022 period, efforts were made to control the increase in the birth sex ratio, however, it remains unstable and higher than the natural balance (112 boys per 100 girls in 2022).

To practical respond to the International Day of the Girl Child 2023, the office asked departments and agencies to urge the public to change their mindsets, perceptions and actions regarding gender imbalance at birth while disseminating legal regulations on prohibiting gender selection during pregnancy.

Local health departments were assigned to hold communication campaigns regarding the issue through various public media channels, offer relevant counseling and health care services, and review the enforcement of laws and policies concerned at all levels.

WHO leader lauds Vietnam’s medical achievements

Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus hailed achievements of the Vietnamese health sector in his congratulatory video sent to the sector on October 5.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he is very proud to witness the changes in medicine and health care in Vietnam over the past decades, as since 1945, the country’s life expectancy has increased by many years, with significant reductions in preventable diseases, including the eradication of polio, as well as great strides in tackling diseases like malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis.

Vietnam has also expanded the health insurance system, helping it gain achievements in health care for its people, he said, adding that progress has also been made in addressing risk factors for non-communicable diseases such as reducing the smoking rate.

Recently, Vietnam has also shown its capacity to respond strongly to the COVID-19 pandemic, including carrying out vaccinations comprehensively and quickly, and always targeting the most vulnerable groups.

WHO is proud to be a trusted partner of the Vietnamese Government and people and is committed to maintaining strong coordination and support for the country on its journey to bring a healthier, safer and more prosperous life to all Vietnamese, the WHO leader stated.

400 representatives to attend National Congress of Vietnamese Catholics

A total of 400 representatives will attend the eighth National Congress of Vietnamese Catholics to Build and Protect the Fatherland for the term 2023-28.

The information was announced at a press conference on Wednesday by Vũ Thành Nam, chief of the Central Office of the Committee for Solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics (CSVC).

The two-day congress will start on the following Tuesday in Hà Nội.

Attendees will include priests, monks, and parishioners representing Catholics nationwide.

The congress is responsible for summarising and evaluating the working results of the previous congress – term 2018-23; and for developing directions and tasks for the patriotic emulation campaign among Catholics for the period 2023-28.

It aims to improve the work efficiency of the CSVC to meet the requirements and tasks of the new era, and actively contribute to the cause of building and protecting the Fatherland.

The work seeks to affirm that Catholic people will always support the nation's development.

The congress will negotiate and nominate priests, nuns, and parishioners with the requisite capacity, prestige, and conditions to join the eighth term of the CSVC.

The event will praise and reward organisations and individuals with outstanding achievements in the past term and promote the patriotic emulation campaign with a focus on fostering a new rural living lifestyle.

To date, 42 out of 63 provinces and cities across the country have founded local committees for the solidarity of Vietnamese Catholics.

The committees have a total of 2,758 members; of which 381 are priests, 183 are monks, and 2,159 are parishioners.

The activities of the CSVC at all levels continue to improve, with specific programmes and plans.

They coordinate closely with the Việt Nam Fatherland Front Committee at the same level.

Members of the CSVC at all levels emphasise their roles and responsibilities in the patriotic emulation campaign.

Thanks to this, the role and position of the CSVC in society and in national solidarity are increasingly affirmed.

Hà Nội’s Ring Road No 4-Capital Region project capital to increase by nearly $119 million

According to a recent report, the estimated capital for the Ring Road No 4-Hà Nội Capital Region project will increase by nearly VNĐ2.9 trillion (US$118.9 million) compared to the initial investment. 

In a report submitted by the Ministry of Transport (MoT) to the National Assembly (NA), only one of the four component projects is meeting the schedule, while the other three are running behind. 

According to the government’s Resolution No 106/NQ-CP, construction for the projects must start before June 30 this year. 

The NA document also said that the preliminary total investment of the entire project was estimated at VNĐ85.8 trillion ($3.51 billion). However, after the approval process, this figure is determined at VNĐ84.3 trillion ($3.45 billion). 

Among the component projects, the two concerning compensation and relocation for people in Hưng Yên and Bắc Ninh provinces respectively saw a budget increase of VNĐ1.5 trillion ($61.4 million) and VNĐ2.87 trillion ($118.7 million). 

The reason for these changes is due to residential land clearance compensation, which is calculated based on the market prices. 

After a feasibility report of the component projects is completed and approved, localities will review and determine the exact investment capital as per regulations. 

Hà Nội People’s Committee will oversee the process, compile dossiers and carry out the administrative procedures required before submitting the project funding adjustments to the higher level for approval.

Transport minister Nguyễn Văn Thắng said that the disbursement rate for the projects remains slow, with Component project 2.1 (in charge by Hà Nội) at 80.45 per cent of the 2023 budget allocation, Component project 2.2 (in charge by Hưng Yên Province) at 4.76 per cent, and none in Component project 2.3 (in charge by Bắc Ninh Province). 

Land clearance progress has reached 86.5 per cent completion, a majority of which is agricultural land. 

The remaining areas are residential land and those related to religions or belong to various organisations, which are closely linked with people’s livelihoods and business operations, the report said. 

In addition, the clearance process is further delayed due to the unfinished infrastructure for relocation. 

This is why while land clearance has a high completion rate, there is still inconsistency in construction progress, said minister Thắng. 

According to the reports on the actual project implementation, the total land recovered measures at 1,397ha in total, an increase of 56ha compared to the NA Resolution No 56/2022/QH15. 

These include 1,054ha of agricultural land (decreased by 20ha compared to estimates), 42ha of residential land (decreased by 16ha) and 301ha of other land types (increased by 92ha). 

Large wartime bomb deactivated in central Vietnam

Military engineers on October 4 successfully deactivated a 337kg wartime bomb described as extremely dangerous in central Quang Binh province.

The bomb was defused by military engineers of the Military Commands of Quang Binh and Quang Tri provinces, in collaboration with experts of Golden West and Peace Trees Vietnam.  

Earlier, local people in Hop Trung village of Quang Trach district, Quang Binh province found the American multi-purpose bomb weighing 337kg and coded M117 while they were digging soil in the Melaleuca forest.

Hearing about the news, relevant agencies were dispatched to the scene and found that they could neither move nor detonate the bomb on the spot as the bomb contained anti-disassembly and anti-movement systems and it was located close to residential areas and the 500KV power transmission line.

For safety reasons, they used a mobile bomb cutter system to cut off the two ends of the bombs containing the detonator, and burned them together with explosives in the bomb body to keep the steel bomb shell intact.

The bomb was successfully deactivated in the end.

HCM City’s construction sector announces procedures to provide online public services

Ho Chi Minh City's Department of Construction in collaboration with the Department of Information and Communications on October 4  announced administrative procedures to provide online public services with a view to encouraging local people, organisations and businesses to go online for the settlement of administrative procedures.

Director of the Department of Construction Tran Hoang Quan said the application of online public services is part of the efforts to deliver on the city’s digital transformation programme in 2023, describing it an important tool to support state agencies to handle procedures in a more convenient fashion, while promoting transparency of administrative procedures, helping bolster the city's socio-economic development.

Stakeholders are now able to carry out necessary administrative procedures without visiting government offices, helping save time and travelling costs, he said, adding they can keep track on their dossiers’ status as well.

During the January – September period, the Department of Construction received 13,276 dossiers, 12,467 of which were handled, while 809 in the process of settlement.

The department is providing online services for 22 administrative procedures at

Of the total, 17 administrative procedures are conducted fully online, covering the fields of building materials, construction activities, and construction testing. Meanwhile, five others in technical infrastructure, realty business, building material testing are made partially online.

Stakeholders should contact hotline 028.39.329.575 for further instruction.

HCM City targets all of its administrative procedures made online by the end of this year. Accordingly, the city will work to complete the digitalisation for settlement of administrative procedures, including instructions for receiving dossiers, handling dossiers and returning results, digital signatures, payments, and evaluation on users’ satisfaction.

Canadian-funded project helps reduce gender bias barriers

A meeting to review the implementation of the “Advancing Women's Economic Empowerment in Vietnam" (AWEEV) project in the northern mountainous province of Ha Giang was held by Care International Vietnam (CARE) and the provincial People’s Committee on October 5.  

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Hoang Gia Long, the AWEEV project, which was funded by the Canadian government through CARE, benefited ethnic minority women in Quang Binh district.

Positive results of the project have contributed to promoting sustainable economic development and reducing gender bias barriers in women's participation in economic activities.

Long expressed his hope that the Canadian government and CARE will consider expanding the project to other areas and sponsor other relevant programmes and projects in the locality.

The provincial authorities pledge to continue close coordination with CARE and related units to effectively implement the project, he said.

Canadian Ambassador to Vietnam Shawn Perry Steil showed his appreciation for Vietnam's development and the bilateral relations between the two countries in recent years, affirming that the Canadian government will continue prioritising assistance to ethnic minority women in mountainous areas of Vietnam in general and in Ha Giang in particular.

The diplomat urged the provincial authorities to continue collaboration and enhance its responsibility and efforts in achieving the overarching goals of the project, contributing to promoting the economic development rights of women and empowering their autonomy.

Implemented from 2021 to 2025, the AWEEV project aims to support 2,635 ethnic minority women and men in six communes of Ha Giang and three communes of the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau. Its total budget is over 4.5 million CAD (over 3.27 million USD).

In Ha Giang, as of May 2023, the project had supported 150 ethnic minority women in Quang Binh district in implementing livelihood models involving poultry, pig, and goat breeding, and peanut cultivation, which have helped improve the income and economic well-being of beneficiaries.

In addition, the project also supported the upgrading of boarding classrooms and utensils at 10 preschools with a total funding of over 2 billion VND in the district.

Thanks to the project, the amount of time men spend on family care and housework has increased from 2.9 to 3.4 hours per day, while the time women designate to economic activities to create income has risen from 8.2 hours to 11.1 hours per day.

Nearly 70% of Vietnamese students go on to study at US universities

Approximately 70% of local students have pursued undergraduate programmes at universities in the US, according to figures released by the Office of Education under the US Embassy in Hanoi.

This information was released at the American education exhibition held on October 4 in Hanoi, with the event featuring the participation of representatives from 60 universities and colleges.

US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper revealed that there were about 21,000 Vietnamese students in the process of pursuing higher education, including masters, doctorates, as well as post-doctoral degrees at colleges and universities in the US last year.

Vietnam boasted the fifth largest number of international students in the US, said the US diplomat, adding that despite the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many Vietnamese students to return home, the number has since rebound in the post-pandemic.

At present, universities in the US have announced many scholarships and financial support specifically for Vietnamese students. The US Office of Education said that among nearly 21,000 Vietnamese students studying at American institutions, roughly 15% are pursuing master's and doctoral schemes.

Meanwhile, nearly 70% are studying at colleges and universities, whilst the remaining are enrolled in Optional Practical Training (OPT) programmes.

Vietnamese students and their parents are keen on STEM and Business Administration, accounting for nearly 70%. In addition, several emerging majors which have attracted many students include Graphic Design, Art, Nursing, Public Health, and Supply Chain Management.

The American educational exhibition is an annual activity hosted by the US Embassy. The event provides an ideal venue in which students and parents can meet with representatives of colleges and universities to gain more information about  programmes, exchange courses, and summer camps, as well as financial support and scholarship policies on offer.

Young Vietnamese artist wins gold prize at Youth Friendship Festival 2023

Duong Minh Quy, a student at the Vietnam National Academy of Music, brought home the gold prize at the Youth Friendship Festival 2023, which concluded in Indonesia on October 2.      

The festival saw Quy perform pieces by Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart who is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music.  

The judging panel gave the Vietnamese contestant's performance a favourable evaluation due to profound expressions and vocal techniques used to deliver the subtle and truthful emotions. The 22-year-old singer hails from Vinh Phuc province and is currently a student of the Vietnam National Academy of Music’s Vocal Faculty. 

The Youth Friendship Festival is one part of the Asia Pacific Arts Festival (APAF) 2023 which is held in Bali, Indonesia, from September 28 to October 2.

The event aims to foster greater harmony, peace, and global friendship through diversified cultural exchanges and performing arts competitions.

This year’s event featured the participation of 170 contestants competing in different forms such as instrumental, vocal and dance, and various categories including solo, duet, trio & quartet, as well as small and large groups.

Soc Trang proposes building power line to Con Dao Island

Soc Trang Province’s Department of Industry and Trade has put forth a proposal to construct an overhead power transmission line between this Mekong Delta province and Con Dao Island off Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

The 110KV line will have a total length of 104 kilometers, connecting the Vinh Chau 220kV substation in Soc Trang Province and the Con Dao 110kV substation on Con Dao Island.

The department has proposed the overhead line option as it meets the technical requirements for electricity transmission and minimizes the project’s impact on residential and forest areas along the road.

This transmission line is part of a larger project approved by the prime minister in June to link Con Dao’s power system with the national grid. The components of this project include a 110kV transmission line and a 110kV-220kV substation on Con Dao Island, with a total investment of VND4,950 billion.

The Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN) is the project’s investor, and the implementation phase is slated for the 2023-2026 period.

Police warning about police impersonation

Ho Chi Minh City Police yesterday issued a warning about police impersonation for the purpose of deception.

According to the police’s warning, there has been a trick of falsely portraying oneself as a member of the police. Criminals called people saying that they would help people to install VNeID applications and activate electronic identification accounts but they installed fake VNeID applications to extort money from people.

Specifically, a resident in the Mekong Delta Province of Dong Thap was called by a bad person pretending to be the Hong Ngu District Police on August 2 and instructed to activate his electronic identification account; as a result, VND1.1 billion (US$40,866) in his bank account was appropriated by the man posing as a cop.

Similarly, gangsters have been taking advantage of people’s low awareness of installing the VNeID application and activating electronic identification accounts to send links via online chat applications on social networks, such as Zalo and Facebook to lure people to access the link to install fake VNeID software whose interfaces are similar to the real VNeID application.

After people installed the fake VNeID application and were granted high-level access rights, including reading personal data and reading messages containing OTP codes, fraudsters were able to control the bank account application conducting money transfers on the victim's phone and appropriate victims’ property.

Therefore, people need to increase their vigilance by identifying and reporting criminals to the police. Ho Chi Minh City Police noted that police officers only support activating electronic identification directly for people without instructions over the phone.

People should only install the VNeID application from official sources on the App Store and absolutely do not install VNeID application from external sources or from strange links;

People should note that, except for the hotline phone number of Ho Chi Minh City Police related to the field of issuance of ID cards and residence registration in the City, which is 0693.187.111, the Ministry of Public Security’s only switchboard providing guidance on VNeID is 1900.0368.

In addition to police impersonation and instruction of the activation of electronic identification to fraudulently appropriate property, criminals currently also use fraudulent tricks to impersonate functional agencies such as procuracy and courts to make fraudulent phone calls to appropriate property. People need to be very vigilant and alert against these criminals.

Hanoi students win gold medals at International Applied Chemistry Olympiad

Hanoi students won two gold and one silver medals at the International Applied Chemistry Olympiad (IAChO), which was held in Bandung, Indonesia from September 28 to October 1.

La Chau Giang, a 12th grader, and 11th grader Nguyen Minh Phuong, both from Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted, bagged the gold medals, while Pham Minh Quan, also from the school, won the silver medal.

The IAChO is held annually by the Indonesia Regional Science Association (IRSA), aiming to enhance students’ capacity in science, especially chemistry.

This year, three Vietnamese students competed in the IACho final round, during which candidates participated in two parts: writing contest and presentation.

Source: VNA/SGT/VNS/VOV/Dtinews/SGGP/VGP/Hanoitimes