The Delegation of PeaceTrees Vietnam recently granted a formal visit to the Vietnam - US Society (VUS) on occasion of the 5th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam – US Comprehensive Partnership. Secretary General of VUS, Deputy Director General In-charge of the Americas Department, Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO) Bui Van Nghi held a reception for the delegation.
Secretary General of VUS Bui Van Nghi (right) and former Executive Director of PeaceTrees, Robert Stokes at the meeting.
The visit is part of PeaceTrees’s annual “Citizen Diplomacy” program aiming to bridge American and foreign friends of PeaceTrees to Vietnam, reinforcing mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between peoples of the two sides.
In the meeting, VUS Secretary General updated PeaceTrees team on Vietnam’s recent progress, introduced VUS’s history and VUS’s diplomatic activities with American governmental and non-governmental entities.
PeaceTrees is a non-governmental pioneer in post-war relief in Vietnam. Their efforts in landmines/Unexploded Ordnances (UXOs) clearance and victim support through educational and economic projects were not only valuable support to the needed but also an incentive for more international aid in war-torn regions, Nghi said.
A class of Xi Nuc village’s kindergarten, a construction sponsored by PeaceTrees in Huong Hoa district, Quang Tri Province. Source: PeaceTree Vietnam
Nghi also proposed that PeaceTree, VUS and VUFO shall advance their cooperation in people-to-people diplomacy towards the 25th anniversary of Vietnam – US relations in 2020. According to him, cultural, art and business exchanges are some among the activities to be taken into account.
On behalf of the Delegation, PeaceTrees Former Executive Director Robert Stokes thanked VUS and VUFO for the warm welcome and helpful updates. PeaceTrees fully endorses the future plans of mutual cooperation and pledges their best efforts to fruitfully realize them, said Robert.
As scheduled, the 21-member delegation will visit Hanoi, Hue (Thua Thien – Hue province) and Dong Ha (Quang Tri province) to gain insights of the landscape, culture, people of Vietnam as well as the reconciliation and postwar relief efforts of PeaceTrees in Vietnam. This September will also witness PeaceTrees’s dedication of two kindergartens in Quang Tri province – a present by Ransom brothers, family of an American fallen soldier in the war.
As the 5th anniversary year unfolds, the two countries as well as VUS and PeaceTrees are taking a look back and celebrating the achievements throughout the journey, and laying out plans for developing the bilateral ties in the near future.
2018 also marks the largest fund PeaceTrees has ever raised for Vietnam so far, which has hit USD 2 million. This is made possible thanks to the growing support from partners and sponsors, notably the State Department./.
( Translated by Hong Anh )