Vietnam boosts cooperation with US on post-war issues


A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh is paying an official visit to the US from July 14-24 to strengthen cooperation on humanitarian issues and dealing with post-war consequences.
Vinh, who is head of the State Steering Committee on the National Action Programme on Settling Consequences of Unexploded Ordnance (known as Steering Committee 504), has met with representatives from the US Departments of State, Defence, and Labour, and with Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s sub-committee on State and Foreign Operations. 
The delegation held several working sessions with US agencies on bomb and mine clearance technology. 
Additional sessions included meetings with several UN agencies, including the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). 
At the meetings, Vinh affirmed that Vietnam is determined to implement its national action strategy on overcoming the consequences of post-war unexploded ordnance by 2020 and beyond. 
He also informed the hosts of the current bomb and mine pollution situation in Vietnam , as well as joint efforts by the Government, social and humanitarian organisations and local authorities in gradually addressing the issue in the country’s war-torn provinces. 
The Deputy Minister suggested the US Government and relevant agencies take responsibility for providing resource assistance to Vietnam and strengthening cooperation in humanitarian issues and effectively overcoming the prolonged aftermath of the war, especially unexploded bombs, mines and Agent Orange/dioxin. 
“Vietnam-US collaboration in addressing the post-war bomb and mine consequences not only helps heal war wounds of the past, but also lays foundations for future cooperation of the two countries’ young generations,” he stressed. 
The US officials vowed to support the Vietnamese Government and social organisations in implementing the country’s action programme on overcoming consequences of war in general and unexploded ordnance in general.-VNA