Vietnam, Mozambique strengthen relations

Ever since 1966, September 8 has been observed as International Literacy Day. However, illiteracy is still a burning issue in the world as many people cannot read and write. In most developing countries, the poor quality of education is a common cause of illiteracy growing in tandem with other social challenges, such as poverty, gender inequality and low income, and disrespect for human rights. According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), nearly 800 million adults are illiterate worldwide, two-thirds of them are women and half of 70 million children without schooling are girls. In a message on this year’s International Literacy Day, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, emphasised the need to eradicate illiteracy among women as it affects the development targets of every country and nation. However, eradicating illiteracy should be looked at in a different way. This includes ensuring literacy and computer skills. In some countries, those who do not know a foreign language, are considered illiterate. In the world today, bad writing, and mathematical skills can seriously affect the development of individuals and the whole of society as well. Therefore, eradicating illiteracy is seen as a long-term global issue. Immediately after the country achieved independence, President Ho Chi Minh launched a campaign to eradicate illiteracy which was the nation’s scourge at the time as more than 90 percent of Vietnamese population was illiterate. A public education centre was set up in September 1945 almost from scratch. However, with massive support, tens of thousands of literacy…... [read more]

The event aims to share knowledge of traditional languages, as well as improve the quality of education and welfare for children and the broader community. Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thi Nghia emphasized that native languages are a resource for each community. In performing everday functions such as communications skills, information dissemination, and education, mother tongues have greatly contributed to the development of each individual and community. In a message to mark the event, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova said the organisation has encouraged teaching of traditional languages, contributing to a reduction in illiteracy and improvements in the quality of education. Preserving languages has also helped confer valuable knowledge to the next generations. Language is a means to help us in communicating and sharing our ideas and it is also a valuable source for integration into society, she said. Representatives from relevant agencies agreed that the use of their mother tongue has enabled students to achieve higher academic results, said chief representative of UNICEF in Vietnam, Hartmut Pfortner. Vietnam education institutions have some experience in employing the native language of ethnic minority students in the classroom. With the support of UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and Training has implemented an initiative on bilingual education based on students’ mother tongue in several primary schools and kindergartens in the Lao Cai, Gia Lai and Tra Vinh provinces since 2008. International Mother Tongue Day was launched by UNESCO in 1999 and is held annually on February 21.... [read more]

The statement was made by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Training Nguyen Thien Nhan at the plenary session of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)’s 35th General Assembly in Paris on October 7. Nhan reiterated Vietnam’s viewpoint before representatives from 193 UNESCO member countries, urging them to consider investment in education as investment in the sustainable development of each country. Thus, Vietnam welcomes UNESCO making education a top priority and allocating 25 percent of its common budget for education, with notable programmes such as Education for Everyone, the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and the UN Literacy Decade (2003-2012), in which Vietnam has actively participated. Now, as the world is facing challenges in terms of climate change, the most serious effect of which will be rising sea levels-and given that Vietnam is one of the five countries that will be hardest hit by the phenomenon- Vietnam supports UNESCO programmes to cope with this problem, especially Specific Plans for the UNESCO Strategy on Climate Change, Nhan said. In addition to these plans, UNESCO should increase the budget of the Man and Biosphere Programme as it will speed up the maintenance of the balance between human beings and nature, thus increasing the stability of development, he added. Deputy PM Nhan expressed that the Vietnamese government always advocates cultural diversity because it affirms the rights of nations to cultural equality and is a foundation for peace and stability in the world. Therefore, the Vietnamese government…... [read more]

UNESCO trains tourist guides The congress was attended by Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan; WFUCA President George Christophides; and Genc Seiti, representative of the UNESCO Director General, and representatives of Federations of UNESCO Associations all over the world. WFUCA President George Christophides highlighted Vietnam’s efforts in hosting the federation’s congress and 30th anniversary. UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova sent a congratulatory message to the congress, saying that Vietnam has fulfilled its commitments throughout the hosting of the congress. She said as the world is rapidly changing, she hopes this year’s congress will be a good opportunity for Federations of UNESCO Associations across the world to promote cooperation and master the technology needed to help each other. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy PM Nhan appreciated recommendations proposed by UNESCO to settle significant global issues. He said WFUCA’s eighth congress will be a chance for international friends to learn more about Vietnamese people and their culture. On the sidelines of the congress, there were various activities such as an exhibition on Vietnam’s achievements in culture, science, and education; a forum to provide businesses with information about cultural, scientific, and educational projects; and a gala programme to welcome the congress.... [read more]

Meeting with Minister and President of the French Institute Xavier Darcos, Minister Anh affirmed that the 2013 France Year in Vietnam received positive response from Vietnamese audiences. He said he hopes that the 2014 Vietnam Year in France, which features about 100 events across the country, will leave a deep impression on French friends and result in increased cultural exchanges in the future. Darcos, for his part, said Anh’s visit to launch the 2014 Vietnam Year in France demonstrates that the Vietnamese Government gives this event due importance, adding that the French Government also pays great attention to exchange activities with Vietnam. He shared the Vietnamese minister’s view that the Vietnam – France Exchange Year is not a short term project, but should be passed down to young generations in order to continually foster the traditional friendship between the two countries. At an earlier meeting with UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, Minister Anh reiterated Vietnam’s commitment to fulfilling its role as a member of the World Heritage Committee (WHC), adding that the country is considering the possibility of hosting the annual WHC meeting by 2016. Vietnam will hold an ASEAN Culture Festival this April and the country is actively working for the realisation of the ASEAN community on three pillars by 2015, including the ASEAN socio-cultural community, he said Bokova suggested Vietnam send young officials to UNESCO for training to become cultural diplomats, especially in the heritage realm. She invited the Vietnamese minister to attend a special session on the…... [read more]

Mr Dung expressed his wish that Vietnam will receive more support from the UNESCO director general and the organization’s secretariat in a joint effort to improve Vietnam-UNESCO relations during Vietnam’s renovation process and UNESCO’s current reforms. The diplomat said that Vietnam is well aware of UNESCO’s special role in assisting the country to achieve a sustainable and comprehensive development, especially in the fields of education and culture. The ambassador stated that the Vietnamese Government welcomes UNESCO’s participation in the “One United Nations” programme in Vietnam and regards the initiative of a world biosphere reserve in Vietnam as a tool for achieving sustainable development. For his part, the UNESCO Director General expressed appreciation for Vietnam’s active role in UNESCO’s activities and its successful projects in Vietnam.... [read more]

It will help the Southeast Asian nation improve its professional capacity in education, scientific and social studies, and information and telecommunications. UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova made the commitment at a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Nguyen Thanh Son in Hanoi on June 20. Bokova spoke highly of Vietnam’s impressive educational achievements incorporating climate change awareness programmes and supporting the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD) (2005–2014). She hailed the country’s willingness to cooperate post DESD and hopes Vietnam will work with other nations to create an Action Programme for Sustainable Development covering the period. Bokova concurred with Vietnam’s assessment of culture’s role in sustainable growth and its special attention to preserving world heritage. The UNESCO Director General praised Vietnam as one of the ASEAN member nations most active in UNESCO and thanked the country for its contributions to the organisation’s strategic planning, especially in the current context of financial difficulty. Son acknowledged UNESCO’s effective support for Vietnam’s socio-economic development during Bokova’s term. Vietnam is an active and responsible member of UNESCO, and it spares not effort to raise the UN organisation’s portfolio in the world, for the sake of international peace and security, and for sustainable and prosperous development of humankind, said the diplomat. He affirmed Vietnam’s determination to maintain comprehensive ties with UNESCO. Son urged Director General Irina Bokova to assist the preservation and development of both tangible and intangible heritage by sending experts, providing technical assistance, and connecting Vietnam with other nations capable of consulting…... [read more]

The statement was made by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova during her working visit to the imperial city’s relics complex which was recognized by UNESCO as a world cultural heritage site in 1993. While receiving Ms Bokova on June 23, Nguyen Van Cao, Chairman of Thua Thien Hue province’s People’s Committee thanked UNESCO for its constant cooperation and support over the years. Ms Bokova’s visit is of great significance to the province which is preparing for celebrations of UNESCO’s recognition of the Hue relics complex as a world cultural heritage site in 1993 and Hue Royal Court Music as Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2003, Chairman Cao said. Over the past 30 years, UNESCO has helped the province implement projects to preserve, restore and conserve Hue relics and other heritage sites in Hue city, he added.... [read more]

The event was attended by UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova, domestic and foreign experts, and representatives from localities with heritage sites. Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism Ho Anh Tuan said the seminar aims to evaluate what has and has not been achieved in the ten years since the UNESCO Convention for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage was implemented and how to deal with future problems that may arise. UNESCO should set a target of ensuring the sustainable development of cultural heritage and boost cooperation with ASEAN member countries in this field, she added. Community awareness of UNESCO’s role and the 2003 Convention for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage, the implementation of the Convention in Mexico and 10 years of experiences and challenges were also discussed at the seminar.... [read more]

Ambassador Duong Van Quang, head of the Vietnamese mission to UNESCO, granted the media an interview on the sidelines of UNESCO’s 37th General Assembly in the French capital Paris. Quang said Vietnam has honoured the Executive Board’s status as one of UNESCO’s three most powerful bodies with proactive contributions during the past four years. The recent 37th General Assembly of UNESCO issued a resolution recognising Vietnam’s great poet Nguyen Du and other international figures as cultural activists. “It is a great honour of Vietnam to have another national recognised by UNESCO as a cultural activist. Together with UNESCO, Vietnam will carry out numerous activities in 2014-15 to celebrate Nguyen Du’s 250th birth anniversary,” said Quang. UNESCO has so far recognised three Vietnamese as world cultural activists, namely Ho Chi Minh, Nguyen Trai, and Nguyen Du. The General Assembly of the States Parties to the World Heritage Convention also elected Vietnam to its 21-member board in Paris on November 19. Vietnam is aware of the gravity of the position’s responsibilities. Quang explained, adding every year committee members have to evaluate submissions of sites or relics to be recognised as natural or cultural heritage of the world. “During the [heritage] appraisal process, we must offer relevant opinions informed by a high level of technical expertise and foreign language proficiency.” Vietnam’s seven UNESCO-listed sites of cultural and natural heritage oblige the country to officially report on heritage exploitation and preservation every year. “As a member of the World Heritage Committee, the exploitation and…... [read more]

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