The contribution of NGOs and People Organizations from 1975 to 1995
Webinar at the VUFO: Normalization of Vietnam - US relations, Reflections from the ground up
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The 2020 is the year marking Vietnam and the United States commemorating the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Vietnam-US diplomatic relations and 6 years of establishing and deploying the comprehensive partnership, Vietnam-US relations have reached positive progress in both bilateral and multilateral cooperations. Along with the great achievements on all sides, in the coming time, the two sides will cooperate to deepen bilateral relations contributing to maintain peace, stability, friendship and development of the region as well as the world.
To celebrate this 25-year milestone, US Secretary of State Pompeo told on the U.S. Embassy& Consulate in Vietnam's website: “You know, in the past, we were opponents on the battlefield. But today, our security relationship is all about cooperation… As we celebrate 25 years – a quarter century – of partnership in 2020, let us renew our commitment to a strong and independent Vietnam and a peaceful and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.” ”
In that atmosphere, at the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO)'s headquarter on July 8, the webinar of the content "Normalization of Vietnam - US relations - Reflections from the ground up . The contribution of NGOs and People Organizations from 1975 to 1995” was organized with the participation of representatives including former diplomatic ambassadors, veterans and individuals who have contributed to the field of education, health and economy for the fruits of Vietnam-US relations today. Despite being an online seminar via videoconference between Vietnam and the US, the delegates reviewed together important memories, moments and events of both countries which were important milestones in each country's history. Also at the headquarter of the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations, delegates had the opportunity to share their feelings at those important moments when they looked back a part of history - of a time when blood, tears and sweat poured down for faith and friendship to be lit up today
|Live videoconferencing helps to connect delegates in Vietnam and the United States to see and exchange information.
The webinar chaired by Ambassador Nguyen Tam Chien, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Ambassador of Vietnam to the United States (2001-2007), President of the Vietnam- USA Society, led the people in both cultures whose hair turned the color of years gone by more than twenty years return the time at their best of age. The first Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Le Van Bang shared his feelings over 20 years ago at the first met US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger at Hanoi airport when the war ended and opened up the process of normalizing bilateral relations.
It is called the process of normalizing bilateral relations, but it was not normal. That was a tough journey with seemingly impossible difficulties, but the two sides finally achieved the common goal after many efforts and promotions.
|Delegates shared their memories as the story of old friends when meeting again after years.
At the webinar, former President of Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations (VUFO), former Vice President of Vietnam-USA Society Vu Xuan Hong shared stories about working with the first American NGOs, seminars on cooperation between US NGOs and 3 Indochina countries and the first American organizations' activities in Vietnam. At that important moment of the two countries, VUFO first established the America Department to deepen the relationship of the two countries' organizations and brought US agencies, organizations and individuals to Vietnam to promote friendly and cooperative activities.
Besides, at the webinar, the delegates also listened to many stories about peace dialogue activities, mobilizing normalization, implementing Van Canh Friendship Village Project of former Ambassador Nguyen Van Huynh, stories in the field of economic exchange and cooperation before 1995 of the former Head of International Relation Department and Secretary General of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), Ms. Pham Lan Chi, or stories about the initial steps to deal with Agent Orange, the visits and advocacy for Vietnam-US relations by Ms. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong as Director of Tu Du Obstetric Hospital, Vice-Chair for Committee of Foreign Relation Affairs.
The delegates also listened to shared stories about their experience working with US NGOs in the field of education, English teaching programs before the relationship normalization from the former Director of Foreign Affairs (Ministry of Education), also the former Director of Hanoi University of Foreign Studies (now Hanoi University) Nguyen Xuan Vang along with stories about educational exchange programs to bring Vietnamese students to the US without official state relations from Associate Professor Dr. Vu Ngoc Tu.
|Mr. John McAulif shared his recollection and wished that together with Vietnamese friends to publish a book to record those memories.
At the webinar, delegates, also long-time old friends on the hemisphere's other side, listened to the sharing and feelings of Mr. John McAulif, former Director of Indochina Program, the Commission's Peace Education Division, American Friendship Service Committee (AFSC), also the founder Fund for Reconciliation and Development in 1985, about the historical stories of the normalization of Vietnam-US relations.
Mr. John said that this was a great opportunity for old friends, partners, colleagues who had the same mind to see each other and shared memories together. Through this, he expressed his desire and intention to collaborate with his Vietnamese friends to write a book about the historical stories of the two countries' unforgettable moments. Those books will be a historical witnesses to the extremely important events of both Vietnamese people and American when they work towards the common goal of normalizing the two countries' relationship.
The webinar took more than 3 hours, there were still a lot to say, want to exchange and share among the delegates. Participants agreed on shared ideas and suggestions in the online meeting so that they can turn ideas and desires into practical actions contributing to deepening the bilateral relation's sharpness and cohesion.
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