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Social News 6/5

Int’l workshop reviews 45 years of Vietnam – India relations

An international workshop was held by Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) in Hanoi on May 8 to review achievements of the two countries’ diplomatic ties during the past 45 years (1972-2017) and cooperation prospects in the future. 

Vietnam and India have a time-honoured traditional and friendly relationship which was built by mutual trust and understanding as well as sharing of similar values and interests, said VASS Vice President Prof. Dr. Pham Van Duc at the workshop, themed “45 years of Vietnam – India relations: Achievements and Prospects”.

He also noted that 2017 marks 45 years of full diplomatic relations, 10 years of strategic partnership and one year of comprehensive strategic partnership between Vietnam and India. 

Vietnam and India always support each other at international forums and during development process, according to Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nguyen Xuan Trung, head of Institute for Indian and Southwest Asian Studies.

He also said the bilateral diplomatic and political ties serve as a platform for the development of other cooperation fields between the two nations. 

However, he noted that two-way trade between Vietnam and India has not matched their potential, reaching only 7 billion USD or 2 percent of total Vietnam’s trade and 1.45 percent of India’s trade.  The two countries’ target of having 15 billion USD in trade by 2020 is hard to be reached.

Charity golf event in Binh Dinh raises nearly US$9K

The FLC Resorts concluded its annual Biscom charity golf tournament at its 36-holegolf course in the city of Quy Nhon in the province of Binh Dinh, May 7.

Those who attended the last day of the tournament couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day. Golfers arrived around 11am and participated in a putting contest followed by a shotgun start at around 1pm.  

Immediately following the scramble tournament, an awards dinner was held at the FLC Quy Nhon Resort.

The top prize went to local amateur golfer Andrew Hung Pham who managed a respectable score of 73 on the final day, one shot shy of the second-place finisher, Hoang Ngoc Quy.

The 3-day event raised nearly US$9,000 to build schools for needy children in the northern mountainous areas of Vietnam.

Can Tho: Flying eye hospital provides treatment for children

The 2017 Orbis Flying Eye Hospital Programme was launched in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on May 8 with the two main partners of Can Tho Eye and Odonto- Stomatology Hospital and Pediatrics Hospital.

This is the first time the programme has been implemented in the city by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (Orbis).

From May 7-19, the Flying Eye Hospital and Can Tho Eye and Odonto- Stomatology Hospital will provide eye check-ups for children aged from 3-15.

After that, the Flying Eye Hospital will offer free surgeries and treatment. It is scheduled to treat 12 children who are suffering eye-related diseases and provide surgeries for 32 others every week.

The Orbis hospital will also help train Vietnamese anaesthetists, nurses and technicians.

According to Orbis, Vietnam ranks fourth in Asia in the rate of blindness. About 3 million Vietnamese children are estimated to be visually impaired, of whom 23,000 are blind.

It is estimated that about 300,000 children in the Mekong Delta have yet to access eye care services.

The Orbis Flying Eye Hospital is the world’s only airborne ophthalmic surgical and training facility, which Orbis uses to support developing countries in preventing blindness and protecting people’s eyesight.

In Vietnam, Orbis has implemented long-term projects since 2000. It helped form pediatric eye care centres in Hanoi, Hue, Da Nang, Can Tho and Binh Dinh.

APEC meeting discusses women’s role in economy

The First Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy (PPWE) Meeting opened in Hanoi on May 9 within the framework of the second APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 2) and related meetings.

In her opening remark, Hoang Thi Thu Huyen, Deputy Director of the Gender Equality Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) who is also PPWE Chair 2017, said 21 APEC economies are currently employ around 600 million women as part of their workforce, with more than 60 percent working in the formal sector, contributing up to 89 billion USD annually to APEC. 

APEC leaders have continously recognised women’s immense contributions to socio-economic development and have maintained support to further mainstream gender equality and women’s economic empowerment across APEC work streams, she said.

However, Huyen noted that women’s potential has not been fully actualised to make more contributions to the region.

Therefore, APEC economies are working to remove barriers and obstacles encourtered by women, she said, adding that this is the goal being realised through the efforts and leadership of the PPWE.

The meeting aims to ensure the realisation of PPWE outcomes from 2016 and make recommendations on necessary interventions to remove barriers faced by women in the coming time, Huyen stressed.

Addressing the function, MoLISA Deputy Minister Doan Mau Diep applauded the role played by the PPWE over the past ten years in reflecting the importance of women in the economy with greater role, position and more concrete activities. 

The PPWE has contributed to a closer relationship between the public sector and private sector, as well as to better mainstreaming of policies, programmes on women’s economic empowerment in APEC activities and fora, he said. 

However, more need to be done in order to make APEC cooperation more practical and beneficial to all women to ensure that no woman is left behind the social and economic growth, and women can contribute to the economic development of APEC economies, he stressed.

Diep expressed his belief that the two-day meeting will be very successful for achievement of its expected outcomes including the discussion of next steps to continue implementing effectively the PPWE Strategic Plan 2015-2018, development of the basic outline of the Guideline on Gender Mainstreaming in APEC as well as the development of the draft Ministerial Statement of the Women and the Economy Forum 2017 which will be held in the central city of Hue in September this year.

Seminar promotes Vietnam’s image in Argentina

A seminar was held at El Salvador University, Buenos Aires province, Argentina on May 8 to detail Vietnam’s revolutionary achievements and recent socio-economic development. 

As part of activities to mark the 42nd anniversary of Vietnam’s Reunification Day (April 30) and the 63rd celebration of the Dien Bien Phu victory (May 7), the event was organised by the Argentina-Vietnam Cultural Institute and the Vietnamese Embassy in Argentina. 

Participants were briefed on Vietnam’s location, history and resistance wars against French and American troops under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh.

They were also updated on socio-economic achievements during the country’s 30-year Doi moi (renewal) process. 

Prof. Renee Girardi from Buenos Aires University recalled her impressions of Vietnam’s landscape, people and culture during her trip to the country 2014. 

She also highlighted the great service President Ho Chi Minh rendered to the national liberation cause, as well as lessons for young generations to learn from. 

Meanwhile, Mariana Colotta from El Salvador University described Vietnam as an example of rising from poverty and war. 

On the occasion, participants viewed a short film on consequences left over from the wars in Vietnam, including the impacts caused by Agent Oranges/dioxin.

Vietnam’s popular tourism destinations and development efforts were also highlighted in a video screened at the event.

Vietnamese food festival in Bangladesh

The Vietnamese Embassy in Bangladesh held a three-day traditional cuisine festival in the capital city of Dhaka between May 5 and 7.

The event treated visitors to diverse Vietnamese dishes, including pho, spring rolls, fish balls and mung bean cakes.

Vietnamese Ambassador to Bangladesh Tran Van Khoa said the festival aims to promote Vietnamese cuisine and ties between Vietnam and international friends.

Bangladeshi Minister for Civil Aviation and Tourism Khan Menon praised the food and urged both countries to organise more cultural exchanges to boost mutual understanding.

Vietnam and Bangladesh will celebrate 45 years of diplomatic ties in 2018.

Sam Son authorities vow to tackle beach sewage

Sam Son Town authorities in Thanh Hoa Province have announced a plan to deal with the direct sewage discharge into local beaches within this month.

The sewage outlets from residential areas have seriously polluted Sam Son’s beaches for a long time, leading to complaints by many tourists.

In 2016, Thanh Hoa carried out a project to upgrade Ho Xuan Huong Street, including the construction of a waste treatment system. However, there were still five drains located along Ho Xuan Huong Street that directly discharge waste into the sea. 

Following the public concern about the beach pollution, Sam Son Town took some measures to solve the problem, such as pumping water into reservoirs so that it cannot flow into the sea and levelling the drains. But, the increasing number of hotels and restaurants has led to a great pressure for the locality’s waste treatment.

Drains from the residential areas along Ho Xuan Huong Street have leaked again, causing the waste water to spill into the sea.

Pham Van Tuan, vice chairman of Sam Son Town People’s Committee, claimed local authorities would tackle the sewage discharge into the sea within this month. The entire sewage will be pumped into concentrated waste treatment stations for treatment.

He added that the province had approved a VND190-billion (USD8.6 million) plan to help build more sewage treatment stations for the town.

APEC 2017: Promoting rights, benefits of the disabled shared

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep praised the outcomes of the meetings of the Group of Friends on Disability (GoFD) organised over the past years.

During the GoFD meeting in Hanoi on May 9 as part of the second APEC Senior Officials Meeting (SOM 2) and related meetings, Diep said the outcomes have laid important foundation, marking the official coordination in the framework of APEC on issues relating to the people with disabilities in economic development.

In 2015, Vietnam had some seven million people with disabilities, accounting for 7-8 percent of the population.

The Vietnam Disability Law, which became effective in 2011, has showed the efforts of the State, families and the society to create equal opportunities as well as ensure the rights and benefits of people with disabilities in fields, including health care, education, vocational training and employment; facilitate their access to services in terms of culture, sports, housing, public transport, information and communication technology, and telecommunication.

The Deputy Minister expressed his hope that in the upcoming meetings in the APEC 2017 framework, Vietnam and other APEC economies will share experience in promoting the rights and benefits of the disabled.


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