In an interview granted to the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) ahead of the National Conference on External Affairs, slated for December 14 in Hanoi, Nga pointed out the challenges to people-to-people diplomacy, including complex developments of the world situation and the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said the 13th National Party Congress has identified people-to-people diplomacy as one of the three pillars of external relations, together with Party diplomacy and State diplomacy.

VUFO President Ambassador Nguyen Phuong Nga

Highlighting Vietnam’s friendship with foreign countries, friends and partners, which has been consolidated over the past decades, the VUFO President said Vietnam is working hard to expand the network of friends and mobilize international resources to serve national construction and development.

During the interview, Nga also reviewed achievements recorded in people-to-people diplomacy across spheres, saying despite the pandemic, Vietnam’s connection with international friends has not been disrupted thanks to the utilization of internet and social platforms.

She said VUFO has so far raised more than VND 47 billion (USD 2.04 million) in support of the COVID-19 combat. Meanwhile, 57 non-governmental organizations have donated over USD 10.6 million to help Vietnamese fight the pandemic.

The Vietnam-Laos, Vietnam-Cambodia and Vietnam-India Friendship Associations, among others, have also mobilized resources to aid foreign friends affected by the pandemic, Nga added.

She emphasized contributions of the associations to the country’s socio-economic development through the organization of seminars over the past time.

Right after the pandemic was brought under control, people-to-people diplomacy activities have been integrated into overseas trips by high-ranking leaders, according to the VUFO President.

Apart from bilateral activities, people-to-people diplomacy has also played a part in affirming Vietnam’s role and position at people’s forums like the ASEAN People’s Forum and the Asia-Europe People’s Forum.

In the foreign non-governmental work, Nga said foreign non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have pledged USD 260 million in aid for Vietnam this year.

The upcoming conference will set out specific orientations, directions and strategies for agencies, ministries and branches in this field.

It will also seek measures to promote the effectiveness of coordination between agencies and localities, and between Party diplomacy, State diplomacy and people-to-people diplomacy.

Source: VNA