The ceremony was held in both in-person and virtual forms, connecting Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi, and representative offices of Vietnam in foreign countries. It saw the presence of Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, Head of the Party Central Committee's Commission for Information and Education Nguyen Trong Nghia, Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan, visiting UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay, and delegates from Vietnamese ministries, agencies, organizations and embassies and foreign agencies in Vietnam.

Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh addresses the event.

UNESCO and Vietnam’s inheritance of legacy of President Ho Chi Minh

Speaking at the celebration, Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh recalled that in 1987, the UNESCO General Assembly issued Resolution No.24C/18.65 on marking the 100th birthday anniversary of President Ho Chi Minh. The resolution described President Ho Chi Minh as “an outstanding symbol of national affirmation, who devoted his whole life to the national liberation of the Vietnamese people, contributing to the common struggle of peoples for peace, national independence, democracy and social progress.” The document highlighted that Ho Chi Minh was an embodiment of nations’ aspiration and helped increase mutual understanding and links among nations.

UNESCO’s honoring of President Ho Chi Minh was of great significance and seen as a source of great spiritual encouragement to help the whole country to resolve and stay united to overcome difficulties and challenges.

The standing deputy prime minister affirmed that for the Vietnamese nation President Ho Chi Minh was a genius leader, a hero of national liberation, a great teacher of the Vietnamese revolution, an outstanding diplomat and the inspiration for the confidence in the victory of the struggle for national independence and people’s prosperity. For people in the world, the President was a close and loyal friend, a symbol of the aspiration for peace and the struggle against oppression and inequity, and an emissary of peace, solidarity, friendship, cooperation among nations. He inspired and encouraged oppressed people to stand up to defeat old and new colonialism. He was also an “Excellent Cultural Celebrity,” a vivid embodiment of treasuring, preserving, and promoting national cultural traditions, respecting differences, and enhancing understanding and solidarity.

For her part, UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay said that in 1987, UNESCO decided to honor two great leaders, President Ho Chi Minh and Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, for the lasting values of the legacy these two celebrities left to the world. Audrey Azoulay affirmed that the greatest legacy of President Ho Chi Minh is his vision on education for all people.

According to her, effectively inheriting and developing this legacy, UNESCO and Vietnam have been well cooperated in preserving and upholding the value of national cultural identity. she pledged that with attained achievements over the past time, UNESCO will strengthen cooperation with Vietnam in a more active manner in the coming time.

At the celebration

The only person in the world who has no oppositionists

Attending the “Ho Chi Minh’s legacy to mankind” international seminar held earlier the same day, former Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Dy Nien brought a special memento, a delegate card to take part in the meeting of UNESCO General Assembly in September, 1987. At that time, he was the head of the Vietnamese delegation to participate in the event.

The former diplomat said that he was worried when receiving the task to attend the UNESCO General Assembly’s meeting in Paris. He recalled that having arrived in Paris, the Vietnamese delegation immediately had meetings with France’s progressive forces, especially the Secretariat of UNESCO, and drew up detailed mobilization plan.

Nien recalled the meeting with Senegalese UNESCO Director General, who was a Vietnam sympathizer. During the conversation, the leader of UNESCO said, “President Ho Chi Minh was not only the leader of the Vietnamese people, but also the leader of the peoples of the countries struggling for peace and freedom. Asian, African and Latin American countries are very supportive of Vietnam. These countries have the vast majority of votes in UNESCO. Therefore, you need to meet them soon.” The former foreign minister said that having received the encouragement, he was very excited and held a discussion with other members of the delegation. They decided to divide the delegation into teams to meet and convince other countries. As the UNESCO Director General said, those countries all cherished Vietnam. An African delegate told him, "We are very grateful to Vietnam and President Ho Chi Minh because if you hadn't win, we would not have been able to sit here today."

Former Foreign Minister Nguyen Dy Nien added that the Resolution on Honoring President Ho Chi Minh as a Hero of National Liberation and a Great Man of Culture of Vietnam was adopted without blank and “No” votes. Like an Italian newspaper wrote 18 years before the voting, “President Ho Chi Minh was the only person in the world who had no oppositionists,” said the former diplomat. 

For the reason, over the years, with their love and respect to President Ho Chi Minh, international friends have organized many activities to commemorate, research, and learn about the life and career and to honor his noble qualities.  Across the five continents, there are schools, roads, parks, museums, monuments named after President Ho Chi Minh. Many literary works, poems, and documentaries about him have been widely popularized.

The above-mentioned activities have contributed to strengthening the connectivity, understanding, solidarity, and friendship between Vietnam and countries around the world.

Permanent Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh presents the book “The world people's affection for President Ho Chi Minh” to UNESCO  Director General Audrey Azoulay.

On the occasion, a bilingual book on people in the world and President Ho Chi Minh, titled “The world people's affection for President Ho Chi Minh,” made its debut under the auspices of the Department of Cultural Diplomacy and UNESCO under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Truth National Political Publishing House.

In the "Foreword" of the book, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong applauded the authors for their dedication and responsibility in compiling and publishing the book. General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong evaluated that this is a meaningful deed to commemorate and honor President Ho Chi Minh's great contribution to Vietnam and progressive humanity. The Party leader wrote, "Few people become a legend right from the time when they are still alive like President Ho Chi Minh, and although Uncle Ho has passed away, his name and career will last forever with the country, live forever in the hearts of the Vietnamese people and the mankind. He left an extremely valuable ideological legacy with intact values.” He added that President Ho Chi Minh was a shining example of morality and lifestyle.

Translated by Tran Hoai