Vietnam attends forum preparing for 2021 Shangri-La Dialogue

Vietnam news,Vietnam breaking news,Vietnam latest news
Lt. Gen. Vu Chien Thang, Director of the Foreign Relations Department at the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence, speaks at the teleconferenced 9th Fullerton Forum (Photo:

Vietnam took part in the 9th Fullerton Forum, held in the format of videoconference on January 18 and 19 to prepare for the Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, the Quan doi Nhan dan (People’s Army) newspaper reported.

The forum, with the participation more than 20 Asian-Pacific nations, was an occasion for defence policy makers to discuss emerging security challenges ahead of the 2021 Shangri-La Dialogue.

Basing on countries’ concerns, organisers of the 2021 Shangri-La Dialogue will identify issues that attract great attention to design the agenda for the coming event, set to take place in Singapore from June 4 - 6.

At the Fullerton Forum, Lt. Gen. Vu Chien Thang, Director of the Foreign Relations Department at the Vietnamese Ministry of National Defence, delivered a speech at the third session on the strategic uses of emerging technologies.

He noted that scientific and technological advances have considerably contributed to economic development and ensuring defence - security in each country, while creating a solid foundation for proactive response to impacts of non-traditional security challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, there are also adverse effects, Thang noted, elaborating that scientific and technological advances are among causes of new forms of warfare such as cyberwarfare and “grey-zone” warfare, as well as risks of conflict and tension escalation.

Given this, he pointed out the necessity to have mechanisms for managing and monitoring the application of military scientific and technological advances to minimise adverse impacts.

Thang suggested that countries should keep their defence and military science - technology development policies transparent. They also need to enhance international cooperation to manage risks that advanced technology may pose to security of each country, the region and the world at large.

Dr Samir Puri, an senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) – the organising body of the Fullerton Forum and the Shangri-La Dialogue, who chaired the third session, applauded Vietnam laying emphasis on the need to bring into play effective regional security cooperation mechanisms led by ASEAN, including the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, in mainlining strategic dialogue and using information technology to organise teleconferenced discussions./.

UNDP pledges to assist Asia-Pacific in addressing COVID-19 impact

Assistant Secretary General, Deputy Regional Director and Director for the Asia-Pacific of the UNDP Kanni Wignaraja has affirmed that the UNDP will continue assisting Asia-Pacific nations in overcoming the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic and fulfilling sustainable development goals (SDGs).

During a meeting with ASEAN member states and Asia-Pacific nations on January 19 in New York, Wignaraja suggested several areas in need of cooperation in the near future such as COVID-19 vaccine distribution, renewable energy and investment in human development.

She asked participants to offer ideas on fields that the UNDP needs to prioritise in the Asia-Pacific in the coming time.

Speaking at the event, Minister Counsellor and Deputy Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN Nguyen Phuong Tra highlighted Vietnam’s initial achievements in fighting the pandemic and promoting economic growth as well as challenges faced by the country, including vaccine distribution.

She proposed enhancing cooperation to ensure harmony in the building of the UNDP’s development strategy for the 2021-2025 period and regional countries’ national socio-economic development policies.

UNDP needs to help regional nations improve institutions, human resources and infrastructure, switch to digital economy, reduce carbon emission and cope with climate change, she said.

Participants proposed the UNDP assist the region in coping with the pandemic, especially supplying affordable vaccine, facilitating the private sector’s engagement in economic recovery, implementing SDGs, protecting the environment, reducing poverty, propelling sustainable development and responding to climate change./.

Diplomacy helps raise Vietnam’s position in international arena: veteran diplomat

Vietnam news,Vietnam breaking news,Vietnam latest news
Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau

Over the past five years, Vietnam’s external affairs have produced outstanding results, thus helping consolidate national security, create favourable conditions for economic development and elevate the country’s position in the international arena.

The affirmation was made by Vietnamese Ambassador to India Pham Sanh Chau in an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency on achievements of the diplomatic sector during the 12th National Party Congress tenure and expectations for the upcoming 13th tenure.

In the 12th tenure, the diplomatic sector has completed many great tasks, notably its effective response to changes in the world, creating a new position and strength to safeguard sovereignty over sea and islands and territorial integrity, consolidating a peaceful, stable and favourable environment for development, and amicably handling arising problems.

The relations with other countries, particularly neighbouring nations and big powers, have been further deepened, while multilateral diplomacy has witnessed an important transition, from actively participating in to proactively getting engaged in building and forming important multilateral institutions, Chau said.

He went on to say that international integration and economic diplomacy have been stepped up, with the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement a highlight, and citizen protection has been carried out promptly and effectively.

The sector has also worked proactive and resolutely in the fields of democracy and human rights, and made efforts to improve the efficiency of cultural diplomacy and external information.

The sector has truly turned risks into opportunities and transformed opportunities into advantages for the country, Chau affirmed.

Regarding the diplomatic work as mentioned in the 13th Congress’s draft documents, the diplomat said that the content continues to inherit the Party’s wisdom from the previous tenures and contains new development steps in conformity with the country’s new position and power, its current diplomatic environment, as well as the complicated and unpredictable situations of the world and the region.

According to him, the draft documents highlight the key role and important contributions of external affairs to national construction, defence and development, and for the first time affirm the diplomatic sector’s pioneering role with three main targets of creating and maintaining a peaceful and stable environment, mobilizing outside resources to develop the country, and improve its position and prestige.

An important new point of the 13th Congress’s draft documents is defining national interests as the lodestar for external affairs, Chau added./.

Malaysia re-imposes nationwide lockdown to curb COVID-19’s surge

Malaysia has announced that the entire country, with the exception of Sarawak, will come under the Movement Control Order (MCO) in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Some localities in Sarawak, including Sibu, Selangau and Kanowit, have also applied the MCO.

Minister of Defence of Malaysia Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that six states – Pahang, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Kedah, Terengganu and Perlis - will be under the restriction from January 22, following a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The MCO will be in place for two weeks and may be extended.

Earlier, five states of Penang, Selangor, Malacca, Johor and Sabah, and three territories –Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan – imposed the MCO on January 13, and Kalantan on January 16.

Malaysia reported 3,631 new infections on January 19, the second highest daily number since the pandemic broke out in the Southeast Asian country. Selangor continues to log the most of the new cases with 1,199, followed by Sabah (526) and Kuala Lumpur (521)./. 

Thailand: PM’s Office urges monks to observe new normal

The Minister attached to the Prime Minister’s Office of Thailand, Anucha Nakasai, has urged Buddhist monks to realign their religious practices with the new normal, to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

Mr. Anucha expressed a concern for Buddhist monks and novices, following reports that some monks recently tested positive for COVID-19. He urged clergy members to go about their daily lives in the new normal circumstances, while still complying with the rules and regulations of the Sangha Supreme Council of Thailand. They are advised to refrain from holding religious events in high-risk provinces and other such activities, such as ordination ceremonies. Temple fairs and other annual, customary events should not be organized at this time.

People can still give alms to monks and novices as usual, but they have to wear protective masks and practice social distancing. Monks and novices should refrain from offering blessings after receiving alms.

Since funeral rites cannot be avoided, organisers must follow the public health measures strictly. If the deceased was infected with COVID-19, the casket cannot be open for viewing. Funeral prayers can be conducted before the person’s portrait.

The private sector and the general public have regularly donated protective materials against COVID-19, such as face masks and alcohol gel, to Buddhist monks in many temples, particularly those in high-risk areas. If monks and novices show symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high fever, they are advised to seek immediate care from health providers, or call the Department of Disease Control’s hotline at 1422 for information and assistance./.

Soc Trang: Poverty rate plunges to 2.66 pct. in five years

The poverty rate in the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang fell from 17.89 percent in 2016 to 2.66 percent in 2020 thanks to the effectiveness of the National Target Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction.

The result was revealed by Ma Chi Thanh, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs during a conference reviewing the five-year implementation of the programme in the Mekong Delta province on January 19.

Thanh said that the number of poor households in Soc Trang was more than 57,800 in 2016, with Khmer ethnic minority families accounting for nearly 27 percent of the total.

Five years later, the number was brought down to just over 8,610, or 2.66 percent of the total, he noted, adding that only 4.13 percent of Khmer ethnic minority households were classified as poor last year.

The poverty rate declined more than 3 percent annually over the last five years - higher than the goal set by the provincial Party Committee and People’s Committee.

Huynh Thi Diem Ngoc, Vice Chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee, said that in the next five years the province is set to cut the poverty rate by 2-3 percent and the rate of disadvantaged Khmer households by 3-4 percent annually.

To this end, it plans to accelerate economic restructuring, particularly in agriculture, and develop fisheries towards commodity production. It will also expand effective business models and raise financial support for vocational training and job creation.

Soc Trang targets providing vocational training to at least 13,000 local workers, create 23,000-25,000 jobs, and send 300-500 people abroad as guest workers./.

Preparations for virtual national conference on general election discussed

The National Election Council (NEC) on January 19 held a meeting with relevant agencies to prepare for a virtual national conference to popularise the Politburo’s directive on the implementation of the upcoming general election.

According to General Secretary of the National Assembly (NA) and head of the NA Office Nguyen Hanh Phuc, the conference, which is slated for January 21, will listen to reports on the implementation of the Politburo’s Directive 45-CT/TW regarding the leadership over the election of deputies to the 15th NA and People’s Councils at all levels in the 2021-2026 tenure, and relevant documents.

Phuc, who is also head of the NEC’s Office, assigned tasks to relevant agencies and units, asking them to work closely together to ensure the success of the conference.

At the meeting, participants underlined that the conference is an important event held on the threshold of the 13th National Party Congress. They stressed the need for careful preparations for the conference as well as the ensuring of its safety and security./.

Hanoi readies for 13th National Party Congress

Vietnam news,Vietnam breaking news,Vietnam latest news
The National Convention Centre is decorated to welcome the 13th National Party Congress

The capital Hanoi has been decked out in flags, banners, and panels in celebration of the upcoming 13th National Party Congress.

Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Chu Xuan Dung said that as of January 19, decorations for the event had been basically completed in districts, communes, and townships, including along major streets and the headquarters of centrally-run and Hanoi agencies.

Agencies, units, hospitals, schools and households were asked to fly the national flag from January 15 to February 14. Lights have been installed on 11 streets and an overpass on Belt Road 3.

Flowers and plants were also arranged in major areas.

Before, during, and after the Congress, Hanoi has been deploying thousands of officers and soldiers from Hanoi Public Security and the municipal High Command to ensure security and safety.

A street in Hanoi is decorated in preparation for the 13th National Party Congress (Photo: VNA)
The municipal Health Department is spraying disinfectant inside and outside of My Dinh National Stadium and outlining COVID-19 prevention and control plans at different levels.

The municipal Department of Culture and Sports plans to hold 85 music shows to celebrate the event, the 91st founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam, and the Lunar New Year 2021.

A special music show is scheduled for February 2 at My Dinh National Stadium to celebrate the success of the Congress, with around people 15,000 taking part./.

VFF leader congratulates Laos on 11th Party Congress

President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee Tran Thanh Man has sent his warmest congratulations to the Central Committee of the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) regarding the recent success of the 11th Congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) for the 2021-2026 tenure.

In the letter, Man expressed his delight at the great and comprehensive achievements of historical significance the fraternal Lao people have reaped after more than three decades of renewal and the five-year implementation of the Resolution adopted by the 10th Congress of the LPRP and the eighth socio-economic development plan for the 2016-2020 period, which, he said, have constantly nurtured the strength of the Lao revolution and elevated Laos' prestige and position in the international arena.

He congratulated Saysomphone Phomvihane on being re-elected as a Politburo member of the LPRP (11th tenure) and expressed his belief that under the leadership of the new Politburo and the LPRP Central Committee, the Lao people will reap even greater achievements in the process of national construction and defence and successfully realise goals and political tasks set by the Resolution of the 11th Congress of the LPRP.

On the occasion of the Lunar New Year 2021, he wished leaders and staff at the LFNC Central Committee good health, happiness, and success. "May the friendship, special solidarity, and comprehensive cooperation between Vietnam and Laos, and between the VFF and LFNC, last forever," he wrote./.

Foreign Ministry hails press agencies' contributions

The Foreign Ministry held an annual meeting with the press at the Government Guesthouse in Hanoi on January 19, praising press agencies and reporters nationwide for their contributions to achievements made by the diplomatic sector in the past year.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh said the sector scored important achievements amid difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said Vietnam successfully accomplished the roles as ASEAN 2020 Chair, Chair of the 41st General Assembly of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA-41) and a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for the 2020-2021 tenure.
Vietnam actively led and coordinated regional efforts to overcome challenges and achieve successes in building the ASEAN Community, effectively coped with the pandemic, flexibly held over 550 online meetings, and adopted a record number of documents in a year, he said.

During the first year of serving as a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2020-2021 tenure, Vietnam made a number of hallmarks such as pushing forward the UNSC’s adoption of the Presidential Declaration on the compliance with the UN Charter, organising the ASEAN-UN dialogue, and especially proposing and promoting the UN General Assembly’s Resolution on designating December 27 as International Day of Epidemic Preparedness for the first time.

According to him, Vietnam further deepened bilateral ties via online meetings at all levels, including 34 phone talks and virtual meetings between high-ranking leaders.

Additionally, Vietnam also effectively conducted citizen protection work, assisted overseas Vietnamese in overcoming difficulties caused by the pandemic, and conducted over 300 flights carrying home more than 80,000 citizens from countries and territories worldwide. Positive results were seen in protecting territorial border and sovereignty, including determinedly and consistently safeguarding legitimate rights and interests of the country.

Minh affirmed that such achievements will not be popularised without great contributions by domestic press agencies and reporters who successfully conveyed the Party and State’s important diplomatic messages to the public at home and abroad.

On the occasion of the upcoming Lunar New Year, the official wished that the press would continue working closely with the Foreign Ministry to popularise external activities and enhance understanding and friendship among nations, contributing to accomplishing diplomatic tasks assigned by the Party and State.

In his speech, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam News Agency Le Quoc Minh hailed the Foreign Ministry’s units for providing effective support for press agencies and reporters.

He congratulated the Foreign Ministry on its achievements in 2020, contributing to making Vietnam a bright spot in the region and the world amid the pandemic. He affirmed that the press will continue working closely with the diplomatic sector to deliver correct information, thus bringing Vietnam to the world and the world to Vietnam.

On the occasion, Deputy PM Minh presented the insignia “For the cause of the diplomatic sector” and the Foreign Minister’s certificates of merit to several collectives and individuals for their outstanding contributions to external affairs over the past year./.

UN Security Council discusses Cyprus situation


The UN Security Council on January 19 held a routine consultation on the situation in Cyprus and activities of the UN Peacekeeping Force there (UNFICYP).

Elizabeth Spehar, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, reported on the island country’s situation and activities of the UNFICYP in the last half of 2020, particularly COVID-19 developments’ impact on UNFICYP operations and the peace process.

Ambassador Pham Hai Anh, Chargé d’affaires a.i. at the Vietnamese mission to the UN, hailed efforts by Spehar and the UNFICYP to perform their duties amid a number of challenges caused by the pandemic’s impact.

He called on the parties concerned to respect the UNFICYP’s functions while voicing support of the UN Secretary-General’s convening an unofficial meeting among relevant sides to seek solutions to the Cyprus issue.

Expressing concern over developments in the reviewed period, Anh appealed to the parties to exercise self-restraint so as not to escalate tensions, make efforts to promote the building of trust among the parties and communities, especially amidst the raging COVID-19 pandemic, and support the enhancement of women’s participation in processes in Cyprus./.

Indonesian parliament discusses candidates overseeing sovereign wealth fund

Members of the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) are discussing candidates for the supervisory board of the Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF), representative of the House’s Commission XI Amir Uskara said on January 19.

Earlier, President Joko Widodo sent a letter to the parliament, proposing the names to the DPR leaders.

The President’s letter on the SWF investment authority board is still in possession of DPR leaders, who is going to hold an official meeting about the letter itself, he said, adding the formation of the SWF authority board will be discussed in the consultative assembly while the President’s proposed names will be considered carefully.

The SWF is established in the context that the Indonesian economy has been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is planned to operate early this year, and is expected to help the Southeast Asian country recover its economy after the outbreak is controlled.

President Widodo earlier said that the government has prepared cash funds up to 15 trillion IDR (1.06 billion USD) and State-owned enterprises’ assets valued at 50 trillion IDR for the SWF.

The government also committed to support investors with total capital of around 20 billion USD./.

PM sends condolences to Indonesian President over earthquake, plane crash

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on January 19 cabled a message of condolences to Indonesian President Joko Widodo over the recent earthquake and plane crash.

The 6.2-magnitude earthquake hit West Sulawesi province on January 15 and the Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737 passenger plane crashed off the coast of Jakarta capital on January 9, resulting in huge losses of lives and property./.

ASEAN senior officials discuss preparations for AMM Retreat

Senior officials of ASEAN member countries met online on January 19 to discuss preparations for the upcoming ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMMR) that is slated for January 21.

Speaking at the event, the head of SOM ASEAN of Brunei said that with the ASEAN 2021’s theme of “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper,” Brunei hopes to build on the achievements that the association gained in 2020, with focus on the people and sustainable development, building a regional architecture ruled by law, upholding multilateralism and supporting an open multilateral trade system.

Participants exchanged their ideas on work that need to be done since after the 37th ASEAN Summit and related meeting, including a mid-term report on the implementation of the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) Blueprint and the strengthening of inter-pillar and inter-sectoral coordination towards the building of the Post-2025 ASEAN Community Vision.

They pledged to continue speeding up the realization of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework and showed support of Brunei's suggestion for a comprehensive strategic approach to cope with disasters and emergency situations in the future to protect economies and societies and ensure broader development.

They continued to underline the significance of multilateralism, while reaffirming the association’s commitment to promoting multilateral cooperation to safeguard peace, security, safety and prosperity in the region and the world.

Participants agreed that the ASEAN continues to play an important role in the region, especially in uniting joint efforts for peace, stability and prosperity.

Looking back on 2020, they noted that the East Sea continued to witness complicated developments, requiring the association to maintain solidarity and unity as well as its commitment to peace and stability in the East Sea and the region in general.

They stressed the need for all parties to continue fully and strictly implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) and work to resume negotiations for a Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC) that is in line with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982.

Addressing the event, Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Quoc Dung thanked ASEAN member countries for supporting Vietnam in 2020, expressing his belief that Brunei will lead the ASEAN through challenges to recover from the pandemic. Vietnam is ready to cooperate with Brunei in performing the role of ASEAN Chair in 2021.

The Vietnamese official suggested using the ASEAN fund for COVID-19 response to buy vaccines, first of all for medical staff, adding that Vietnam called on all ASEAN member countries to fully operate the Regional Reserve of Medical Supplies (RRMS).

He stressed that the grouping should optimise the outcomes that ASEAN had achieved in 2020, proposing that key agencies in charge of ASEAN Community’s pillars continue to improve and complete the remaining action lines in the master plan for the 2025 ASEAN Community Vision.

He also asked ASEAN to early define the roadmap to build the ASEAN vision 2025 based on the Hanoi Declaration on the ASEAN Community’s Post-2025 Vision, which was approved at the 37th ASEAN Summit, while reviewing the ASEAN Charter, strengthening the proactive and central role of the association in promoting sub-regional cooperation, contributing to narrowing the development gap and reinforcing ASEAN connectivity.

Dung also highlighted the need to maintain intra-bloc solidarity and take the initiative in responding to newly-emerged challenges, thus ensuring the life of people and recovering from the pandemic in a sustainable manner. The ASEAN should continue to be the central and pioneering force in the region to make positive contributions to peace, stability of the region and the world, he added./.

Ha Nam targets 17,500 new jobs in 2021

Authorities in the northern province of Ha Nam have set a target of creating 16,500 jobs and sending 1,000 workers overseas in 2021.

The provincial Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs will continue to coordinate with other agencies and organise events to introduce jobs to workers currently enjoying unemployment benefits.

The department will also adopt measures to offer timely support to local enterprises facing problems in production and business, thus helping ensure stable employment.

At a recent employment session held by the Department and the Ha Nam Employment Service Centre, 47 businesses recruited 6,600 workers.

According to Director of the Ha Nam Employment Service Centre Nguyen Quang Tuan, no enterprise in the province went bankrupt due to COVID-19.

The province also sees increasing recruitment demand because a large number of new enterprises being established while existing enterprises expand production.

The department has advised the provincial People’s Committee to synchronously and effectively implement policies, programmes, and schemes to create jobs and support young people in finding employment and starting a business, especially disadvantaged workers.

Attention will also be paid to promoting career guidance as well as improving the quality of human resources training.

Ha Nam created 23,300 new jobs last year, while more than 25,670 workers found jobs. Local authorities also issued work permits to 251 foreigners working at local enterprises./.

Only one new COVID-19 case found on January 19

Only one new COVID-19 case, a man returning from the US, was detected in the past 24 hours to 6pm on January 19, according to the National Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control.

As such, the national count rose to 1,540, with 693 community infections.

A total of 1,402 patients have recovered, and the fatalities remain at 35.

Among patients still receiving treatment in hospital, 11 have tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 once, 10 twice and nine thrice.

Meanwhile, 18,008 people who had close contact with COVID-19 patients or arrived from pandemic-affected areas are being quarantined nationwide, with 121 at hospital, 16,663 in designated facilities and 1,224 at home or in their accommodations./.

Public security intelligence force must put itself under Party’s leadership: PM

The people’s public security intelligence force must always put itself under the Party’s absolute and direct leadership in all aspects, the State President’s command, the Prime Minister’s united governance and direction, and the Minister of Public Security’s concentrated and direct management, PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has said.

Addressing a ceremony marking the force’s 75th anniversary (February 21) in Hanoi on January 19, PM Phuc stressed that to fulfill the heavy responsibility assigned by the Party, State, Ministry of Public Security, and people, the public security intelligence force needs to be well aware of the situation and their tasks while closely following and effectively serving the Party and State’s leadership and governance.

In the time ahead, it has to thoroughly grasp and build an action programme to effectively carry out the Resolution of the coming 13th National Party Congress, have a better grasp of the situation, and improve strategic counseling to meet new requirements in the national development and defence process, the PM said.

The force was also requested to proactively take action to help enhance Vietnam’s relations with external partners and promote the country’s position and prestige, thus serving the cause of national industrialisation and modernisation.

PM Phuc also asked for increased education in terms of politics, thought, tradition, revolutionary morality, and occupational skills for intelligence officers, as well as the building of a contingent of intelligence officers who have firm political mettle, steadfastness, and absolute loyalty to the Party, Fatherland, and people, are ready to sacrifice for the sake of the Party and nation’s revolutionary cause, and have a sharp vision and outstanding qualifications to fulfill both short- and long-term tasks.

The Government leader expressed his belief that under the Party’s leadership, the people’s public security intelligence force will obtain even greater achievements, thereby contributing to the cause of national construction and defence and deserving the Party, State, and people’s trust.

On February 21, 1946, then President Ho Chi Minh signed Decree No 23/SL on unifying public security units nationwide to into “Viet Nam Cong an vu” (Public Security Department of Vietnam) and regulating tasks for it, including intelligence affairs.

Over the last 75 years, the people’s public security intelligence force has secured a lot of excellent accomplishments, deserving its status as one of the key and trustworthy armed forces of the Party, State, and people.

On this occasion, the force was honoured with a first-class Fatherland Protection Order by the Party and State for its major contributions to the cause of national development and safeguarding./.

Some 16,000 national flags presented to Phu Yen fishermen

Fishermen in the south central coastal province of Phu Yen received 16,000 national flags and 5,000 portraits of President Ho Chi Minh during a ceremony held on January 19.

The ceremony, titled “For the Fatherland’s sea and island sovereignty”, was jointly organised by the Border Guard High Command, provincial People’s Committee and Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (VietinBank).

Speaking at the event, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee Pham Dai Duong affirmed that over the past years, Phu Yen’s fishermen have played a pioneer role in protecting the country’s sea and island sovereignty and contributed to maintaining security and order at sea.

Vietnamese fishing ships carrying the national flags are “live markers” asserting the national sea and island sovereignty, he added.

The “For the Fatherland’s sea and island sovereignty” programme has called on people in border regions and fishermen to join hands in firmly safeguarding the country’s sovereignty and border security.

Units of the Border Guard High Command are planning to hand over more than 200,000 national flags and 60,000 portraits of President Ho Chi Minh from January 19 to February 2./.

Remains of Vietnamese martyrs brought home from Laos

A ceremony was held in the Lao province of Oudomxay on January 19 to bring home 14 sets of remains of Vietnamese soldiers and experts who lay down their lives in the neighbouring country.

This is the first repatriation held in the six northern Lao provinces during the 2020-21 dry season.

The remains were discovered by a repatriation team from Military Region 2.

Memorial and burial services for the 13 soldiers are scheduled to be held on January 20 at Tong Khao martyr cemetery in northern Dien Bien province’s Dien Bien Phu city, while a set of remains of a martyr whose native land was identified will be handed over to Lai Chau authorities./.

Vietnamese diplomat stresses importance of UN’s cooperation with Arab League

The situation in the Arab region underscores the importance of cooperation between the United Nations and regional organisations, including the Arab League (AL), Chargé d'Affaires of the Vietnamese mission to the UN Ambassador Pham Hai Anh told the UN Security Council on January 18.

Addressing the council briefing on cooperation with the Arab League, Anh described the establishment of the UN Liaison Office as a great example of a new level of cooperation.

The UN’s cooperation with regional entities should aim to uphold the purposes and principles of its Charter, especially respect for independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and non-interference, he emphasised.

Reiterating the need for the UN Security Council and the Arab League to strengthen their cooperation, he expressed support for further engagement by United Nations special representatives in that regard.

Vietnam continues backing the justice struggle of Palestinian people, as well as the two-State solution, he reaffirmed.

Speaking at the meeting, UN Under-Secretary-General Rosemary DiCarlo said that the UN always attaches importance to cooperation with regional organisations in preventing conflicts and maintaining peace, especially amid complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlighting increased cooperation activities, she said the UN Liaison Office to the League of Arab States, established in 2019, has strengthened the partnership and facilitated regular contacts with special envoys.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, said that the region is facing a lot of challenges caused by long-lasting conflicts and the pandemic.

AL supports the UN’s efforts to address conflict hotbeds in the region, he added.

Speakers highlighted historical and ongoing efforts as well as current challenges, from combating terrorism to increasing women’s involvement in peace processes, with some commending the year-old United Nations Liaison Office to the Arab League and others outlining ways to forge further progress. Many called for fresh efforts to advance a two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, urging the parties to return to peace talks./.

Three cities fulfil new-style rural area building task

Da Lat and Bao Loc cities in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong and Lao Cai city in the northern province of the same name have accomplished the task of building new-style rural areas.

Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung has signed decisions recognising the fulfillment of the task.

All communes of the cities fulfilled criteria set by the National Target Programme on New-Style Rural Area Building.

Local authorities have paid due attention to upgrading agricultural works. Outstanding results have been recorded in job creation, education, health care, culture, environmental protection, and people’s income.

Particularly, Lao Cai city mobilised more than 631 billion VND (27.42 million USD) during the nine-year implementation of the programme.

The National Target Programme on New-style Rural Area Building, initiated by the Government in 2010, sets criteria on socio-economic development, politics, and defence, aiming to boost rural regions of Vietnam.

The list of criteria includes the development of infrastructure, the improvement of production capacity, environmental protection, and the promotion of cultural values.

After 10 years of implementing the programme, positive results have been recorded, with half of communes nationwide being recognised as new-style rural areas./.