Remains believed to be of US MIA repatriated

A ceremony to repatriate two sets of remains believed to be of US soldier listed as missing in action (MIA) from the war in Vietnam was held at the Da Nang International Airport in the central city of Da Nang on April 16.

The ceremony, the 164th of its kind, saw the attendance of Deputy Defence Minister Hoang Xuan Chien, Assistant Foreign Minister Nguyen Minh Vu, representatives from the ministries of defence, foreign affairs and public security and the Vietnam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP). On the US side were US Ambassador to Vietnam Marc E. Knapper, US Defence Attaché to Vietnam Thomas Bouchillon and representatives of the US MIA Office in Hanoi.

The remains were found as the result of the 154th joint field activity which lasted from February to April 2024. Vietnamese forensic specialists examined the remains and determined that they might belong to US MIAs from the war in Vietnam.

The joint efforts of the two governments to search and account for US MIAs since the late 1980s have to date
identify over 720 US MIAs.

On this occasion, Deputy Defence Minister Chien hosted a reception for US Ambassador Knapper, during which he highly appreciated the US’ help for Vietnam to overcome the consequences of war, including raising the budget for the dioxin detoxification project at Bien Hoa airport to 300 million USD; supporting people with disabilities in localities affected by Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin; conducting mine clearance; and cooperating in searching for Vietnamese soldiers who died or went missing during the war.

He proposed that the two sides coordinate to early sign a memorandum of understanding on overcoming the consequences of war in Vietnam.

Ambassador Knapper affirmed that the US Government is committed at the highest level to supporting Vietnam in overcoming the consequences of war, especially in completely cleaning up dioxin contamination at Bien Hoa airport and transferring DNA examination technology for identifying Vietnamese martyrs’ remains.

He also expressed a wish to work clos
ely with Vietnam to hold activities to mark the 30th anniversary of the normalisation of relations and establishment of diplomatic relationship between the US and Vietnam (1995-2025), the 50th year since the end of the war in Vietnam (1975-2025) and 80 years since the first contact between Viet Minh and the US

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam eyes strengthening multifaceted cooperation with Hungary: NA Chairman

National Assembly (NA) Chairman Vuong Dinh Hue on April 16 said that Vietnam always values and wishes to strengthen multifaceted cooperation with Hungary, a traditional partner and the only comprehensive partner of Vietnam in the Central Eastern European region when receiving First Officer of the Hungarian National Assembly Márta Mátrai in Hanoi.

Speaking at the reception, Hue appreciated the fifth legislative conference on the role of the parliament in supreme supervision of bilateral cooperation agreements between Vietnam and Hungary held earlier the same day in Hanoi, during which, NA Vice Chairman Tran Quang Phuong and Márta Mátrai reached consensus on many important issues, particularly those on cooperation between the two countries’ legislatures.

For her part, the Hungarian guest said Hungary considers Vietnam a priority partner in its policy of strengthening and expanding relations with Southeast Asian countries, especially in the fields of diplomacy, economy, and parliamentary cooperation. Hungary
is a bridge between EU member countries and Vietnam, she said, adding her country is ready to share experience with Vietnam in agriculture, science, and digitalisation.

Noting that Hungary will take on the role of rotating President of the European Council in the second half of 2024, she affirmed Hungary will help hasten other EU member countries to ratify the EU-Vietnam Investment Protection Agreement (EVIPA) and urge the European Commission to soon remove the ‘yellow card’ imposed on Vietnam regarding illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and other problems in the EU-Vietnam trade ties.

Hue said that the two countries have good cooperative relations in many fields and that there is still ample room for cooperation, particularly in science and technology, innovation, education, and sports.

The host and the guest agreed that the two sides need to strengthen cooperation and connections at central, local, and business levels. Their friendship parliamentarians’ groups should establish an alumni ne
twork and propose initiatives to further develop the two countries’ relations.

Hue agreed on the theme of the next legislative conference, which will be held alternately in Hungary in 2025. On this occasion, he thanked Hungary for providing scholarships to Vietnamese students and hoped that it will continue to create favourable conditions for the Vietnamese community to stabilise their lives and make positive contributions to the host country’s socio-economic development and Vietnam-Hungary friendship.

The same day, Márta Mátrai met with Chairman of the NA’s Economic Committee Vu Hong Thanh, who is also Chairman of the Vietnam – Hungary Friendship Parliamentarians’ Group.

Thanh said it is necessary to promote cooperation mechanisms between the two countries, especially the Vietnam – Hungary Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation to facilitate bilateral economic, trade, and investment ties.

He hoped that Hungarian businesses will increase investment in areas that Vietnam has demand for and Hungary has str
engths such as water resources exploitation, environmental protection, pharmaceuticals, livestock, food processing, renewable energy, manufacturing and processing industries, and infrastructure development.

He wished that Hungary will support and create favourable conditions for Vietnamese businesses to further access its market. Meanwhile, Vietnam is ready to act as a gateway for Hungarian products to enter the ASEAN market, he added./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Soc Trang active in popularise anti-IUU fishing regulations

Authorities of the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang have coordinated closely to popularise regulations to prevent and combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing among the local fishermen.

On April 15, the Trung Binh Border Post based in Tran De district, the Fisheries Sub-Department, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Soc Trang jointly held a conference on anti-IUU fishing rules for nearly 100 local fishermen as well as captains and vessel owners in the district.

At the event, participants were updated on the European Commission (EC)’s regulations on fishing, the impacts of the EC’s yellow card warning against Vietnamese seafood exports, as well as the Prime Minister’s directions on urgent tasks and measures to remove the warning, along with legal regulations regarding fisheries.

They also received guidance on processing procedures to make port enter and exit registration on the fishing vessel management system.

According to leaders of the Soc Trang Border Guard Co
mmand, the activity aims to enhance local fishermen’s awareness and sense of responsibility on legal fishing activities, while calling for the engagement of all sectors and localities in encouraging fishermen to strictly implement fisheries regulations.

Alongside, the popularisation of laws and policies also helps mobilise the engagement of fishermen in protecting the national sovereignty over seas and islands in the new situation.

On the occasion, 100 national flags and 50 lifebuoys were presented to local fishermen./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam needs 20-30 billion USD investment for universal clean water access

Vietnam will need to invest 20-30 billion USD on water supply and drainage to make sure that 100% of the population has access to clean water, according to experts.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment forecasts that water use demand by 2030 is about 122.47 billion cubic metre per year.

Urban development, discharge of untreated industrial wastewater, and use of fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture, are putting great pressure on river basins, affecting clean water sources. This is particularly the case for large cities where clean water sources are a concern.

Chairman of the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association Nguyen Ngoc Diep said Vietnam is a water-abundant country but it still confronts many issues as a result of climate change, including saltwater intrusion, floods and drought.

Water use in agricultural production, along with thousands of irrigation and hydroelectric dams that ensure water source security pose deterioration and potential safety risks.

The online system for
monitoring water consumption and exploitation will be maintained and operated by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment for approximately 600 projects by 2024. Additionally, it has encouraged the creation and use of digital maps for drought warning and forecasting.

Public health has been impacted by water contamination, and socioeconomic growth has decreased. As this is happening, the majority of wastewater in Vietnam is not treated before release into the environment.

Urban flooding has also grown to be a major issue, particularly in major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Vinh and Da Lat.

Several streets in Hanoi and HCM City have remained submerged after heavy rains in recent years. The National Centre for Hydrometeorological Forecasting consistently issues warnings about floods in metropolitan areas.

According to Diep, there are 750 clean water treatment facilities in Vietnam as of right now, with a combined capacity of over 1 million cubic meters each day and night.

Up to 92%
of people living in cities have access to clean water.

The country has nearly 410 industrial parks using and treating wastewater with a capacity of 400,000cu.m per day and night.

There are 71 drainage and wastewater treatment enterprises operating 82 wastewater treatment plants.

Despite having a design capacity of one million cubic metres per day, the plants have only been used to a capacity of roughly 700,000cu.m per day.

The real wastewater collection rate is only about 60%, and the treatment rate is only 17% of the approximately 80 operational wastewater treatment projects, each having a capacity of more than two million cubic meters per day and night.

Professor Nguyen Viet Anh, Director of the Institute of Environmental Science and Engineering (University of Civil Engineering) said Vietnam’s water industry has faced too rapid urban development. Infrastructure cannot keep up with growth, and essential water services fail to meet requirements.

He cited the Mekong Delta region as an example, where seve
ral provinces have had to establish water delivery systems upstream, kilometres away from the province boundary, as another challenge brought about by climate change.

‘A lot of localities have to bring water from other places to supply agricultural production and domestic water. This shows that the challenge of climate change is increasingly fierce and present,” he told, saying that it is necessary to find new solutions to droughts and saltwater intrusion.

He said Vietnam still relies on ODA capital. The water sector is not attractive for private sector investment due to low profits, although it benefits society.

Diep, Chairman of the Vietnam Water Supply and Sewerage Association, said in order for 100% of people to have clean water, Vietnam will have to make a large investment of about 9 billion USD by 2030, a “very challenging” issue for Vietnam when investment resources are still limited.

Anh said with current water resource challenges, in the next 10 years, Vietnam’s water industry will
need to raise about 20-30 billion USD to meet all water supply and drainage requirements, including clean water supply projects, and domestic and industrial wastewater treatment.

In order to develop a suitable policy framework, he advised managers to do a thorough assessment of the value of water.

He stated that funding must be raised in order to invest in this field’s infrastructure.

Halla Maher Qaddumi, a senior water economist at the World Bank, said Vietnam might lose 6% of its GDP every year until 2035. Water pollution alone may cause a drop of 3.5% of GDP.

To resolve issues in the water sector, the World Bank said attracting investments from the private sector should be done to replace old infrastructure. To attract investments, the government needs to have strong financial policies and legal frameworks, Halla said./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Tien Giang maintains clean record in IUU fishing combat

The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang has seen successes in combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing, with no violations by its fishing vessels reported since 2022.

The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported that in the first quarter of 2024, it collaborated with the provincial Border Guard Command, the Naval Region 2 Command, the Coast Guard Region 3 Command, and other relevant agencies to hold two sessions to raise awareness of IUU fishing regulations for nearly 250 fishermen. Additionally, 600 informational materials and 1,000 national flags were distributed to them.

So far, all fishing boats have been equipped with the vessel monitoring systems and have been put into operation.

Col. Truong Cong Sau, Deputy Commander of the provincial Border Guard Command, said the border control stations have effectively controlled and verified compliance to prevent IUU fishing violations. They strictly ensure that offshore fishing vessels do not violate the sovereign
ty of neighbouring countries. Those lacking the necessary monitoring equipment are prohibited from leaving ports.

Tien Giang is now home to 1,275 fishing vessels with over 9,140 fishermen. Its total output of caught seafood reached 18,658 tonnes in Q1./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Dien Bien gears up for Dien Bien Phu victory celebration

The northwestern province of Dien Bien is installing a system of mega outdoor LED screens, each measuring 40-60 square metres, to serve the celebration of 70 years of Dien Bien Phu victory.

According to the provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, 15 screens will be put up across Dien Bien Phu city, including May 7 Square, Him Lam Square, Dien Bien Phu victory monument and Dien Bien Phu Airport.

Besides popularising this important event, the screens will help public enjoy the grand celebration on May 7.

On the occasion, the relic site of Muong Thanh bridge will be illuminated under a project funded by the French Development Agency and France’s Lyon city.

In the same vein, the Vietnam National Fine Arts Museum will open an exhibition themed “Duong Len Dien Bien” (The odyssey to Dien Bien) in Hanoi on April 26, introducing 70 art works that highlight the Vietnamese people’s heroic battles and solidarity during the national struggle for independence.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam Digital Awards 2024 launched

The Vietnam Digital Awards 2024 was launched by the Vietnam Digital Communications Association (VDCA) and VietTimes Magazine in Hanoi on April 16 with a view to fostering the development of the digital government, digital economy and digital society.

It will honour state agencies and businesses with excellent digital transformation, outstanding digital products, services and solutions for the community, as well as foreign products, services and solutions.

Ho Duc Thang, Acting Director of the Department of National Digital Transformation under the Ministry of Information and Communications, said the awards will be a launching pad that promotes the development and application of digital solutions in key fields of the economy, including health care, education, finance-banking, agriculture, transport and logistics, energy, environment and industrial production.

Entries should be sent to the organising board through website by June 30. An awarding ceremony will be organised in early October in r
esponse to the National Digital Transformation Day (October 10).

The Vietnam Digital Awards has attracted the participation of 16,000 organisations in all 63 provinces and centrally-run cities over the past six years./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam maintains momentum on advancing gender equality: UN Women Representative

The Vietnamese Government has maintained its momentum on advancing gender equality, said Caroline T. Nyamayemombe, UN Women Representative in Vietnam, in a recent interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) on the occasion of the country’s election to the UN Women Executive Board for the 2025-2027 term.

Following is the full text of the interview.

Reporter: How do you evaluate Vietnam’s election to the UN Women Executive Board for the 2025 – 2027 term?

UN Women Representative: I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Vietnam on its election to the UN Women Executive Board for the term of 2025-2027. This is a significant international recognition of Vietnam’s steadfast commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment. It also underscores the strong partnership between Vietnam and UN Women at both national and global levels.

Secondly, it is a well-deserved appointment given that Vietnam has made strides in recent years to address gender disparities and advance women’s rights across various sect
ors, including legislation, politics, education, and employment.

Reporter: Vietnam has made efforts to ensure the rights and advancement of women over the past time. Would you please evaluate these efforts?

UN Women Representative: The Government of Vietnam has maintained its momentum on advancing gender equality. Since adopting the SDGs we have seen Vietnam’s world ranking on gender equality increasing from 83rd to 72nd out of 146 countries (2023, World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index). Despite the challenges that persist, I can cite four notable improvements since adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals:

– Vietnam has continued to strengthen its policy and legal framework on gender equality. For instance, the Law supporting SME growth (2017); Amendments to the Domestic Violence and Protection law (2022); The Labour Code amendment (2019).

– Vietnam has increased women’s political participation in the 2021 election, with the proportion of female deputies in the National Assembly increasing
to 30% – the highest since 1976, higher than the global average of 25%.

– Vietnam has among the highest female labour force participation in the world. It is almost as high as men’s (72% for women compared to 82% for men).

Vietnam recently adopted its first National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security in January 2024 and has been surpassing the set target of female participation in peacekeeping operations contribution.

Vietnam maintains momentum on advancing gender equality: UN Women Representative hinh anh 2

Caroline T. Nyamayemombe, UN Women Representative in Vietnam. (Photo: VNA)

Reporter: What are the UN Women’s recommendations for Vietnam to promote its role as a member of the UN Women Executive Board for the 2025 – 2027 term?

UN Women Representative: The Executive Board offers intergovernmental support and oversees the operational activities of UN Women, in alignment with the overarching policy directives of the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and in adherence to the respon
sibilities delineated in the UN Charter. Furthermore, it is tasked with ensuring that UN Women remains attuned to the needs and priorities of recipient nations.

During the 2025-2027 board term, UN Women will adopt a new global strategy which will seek to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, of which gender equality is central.

Given Vietnam’s own track record and history, it will bring a wealth of insights pertinent to the promotion of gender equality from its richly diverse population and a distinctive socio-cultural milieu. For instance, Vietnam has managed to reduce multidimensional poverty and achieve middle income status, yet currently, 10.3% of women globally live in extreme poverty. There are challenges and opportunities within digital and energy transitions and enhancing women’s participation in climate change, politics, global peace and stability. Vietnam can share its own journey and inspire other nations. These contributions are invaluable for informing innovative a
pproaches and partnerships to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment./.

Source: Vietnam News Agency