Promoting people-to-people diplomacy in the new situation

Thursday, 2019-12-05 16:38:22
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International delegates attend a tree planting festival in the northern province of Phu Tho. (Photo: The Tran)
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NDO - Former Vice President Nguyen Thi Binh recently wrote an article in which she underscored people-to-people diplomacy as an important element in foreign affairs in general. People-to-people diplomacy has closely coordinated and actively supported the Party’s external relations and State diplomacy; as well as helped strengthen the friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and other countries around the world.

It is also considered a fine tradition and valuable experience that has been passed through many generations in Vietnam. Right after the country declared its independence on September 2, 1945, President Ho Chi Minh’s guiding thought was that Vietnam wanted to be friends with all democratic countries for freedom, independence, democracy and peace. All countries, peoples and forces in the world that endorse that purpose and share the same will are friends of Vietnam.

President Ho Chi Minh also directly led and proposed many practical initiatives and activities for people-to-people diplomacy, such as establishing friendship associations between Vietnam and other countries, bringing Vietnamese youth abroad to establish relations in culture, researching on technology, agriculture, and many other fields, as well as promoted a wide range of people-to-people exchanges with other countries.

The Communist Party of Vietnam has officially included “people-to-people diplomacy” in the document of the Party National Congress in February, 1951, stating the direction to develop people-to-people diplomacy, pay special attention to participate in major campaigns in the world, and foster ties between people’s organisations in Vietnam and other countries around the world. It can be said that the importance, role and duties of people-to-people diplomacy were clearly, fully and profoundly set out by President Ho Chi Minh and the Party.

Thoroughly grasping President Ho Chi Minh’s thought and under the leadership of the Party, over the past 70 years, people-to-people diplomacy have actively contributed to resistance wars against colonialism and imperialism; as well as the cause of national reunification, renewal, and construction and international integration.

People-to-people diplomacy activities currently are facing both opportunities and challenges. The scope of activities is wider, the content of activities is more diverse while tasks are set higher. Therefore, it is necessary to innovate methods of operation and organise activities in a more active and effective manner to continue to coordinate with the Party's external affairs and State diplomacy.

People-to-people diplomacy in different periods should closely follow the Party’s guideline and State’s policies, at the same time coordinate and supplement the Party’s foreign affairs and State diplomacy. Accordingly, it is necessary to thoroughly grasp the foreign policy of independence, autonomy, peace, co-operation and development, multilateralization and diversification of relations, proactive and active international integration for the sake of the nation and people.

It can be said that the main objective and task of people-to-people diplomacy is to contribute to consolidating and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment for national construction and development; protecting independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity; promoting international integration, raising the position of the country; enlisting all resources for the country's economic development, contributing to the peace, security and development of the region and the world.

To accomplish that task, it is necessary to raise the awareness on the role and position of people-to-people diplomacy in the overall external relations of the Party and the State, especially in the context of rapid changes in the international relations.

More attention should also be paid to enhance the quality of the human resource, increase mutual understanding and maintain friendly relations and solidarity with other countries, especially with neighbouring countries, ASEAN countries and important partners.