Nature, equality and new bridges between Spain and Việt Nam in 2022

October 13, 2022 - 13:50
Spanish ambassador to Việt Nam Pilar Mendez Jimenez wrote to Việt Nam News to celebrate the National Day of Spain.

Spanish ambassador to Việt Nam Pilar Mendez Jimenez wrote to Việt Nam News to celebrate the National Day of Spain:

2022 is a special year for two reasons: we are celebrating the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Spain and Việt Nam and 25 years since the opening of our Embassy in Hà Nội.

Spain proudly holds a Feminist Foreign Policy. This is why we have curated the exhibition “The World Needs Superheroines” at the Vietnam Museum of Fine Arts in Hà Nội, with free entrance from October 28 to November 13 and comprising the prints of 62 Vietnamese and Spanish female comic authors. We warmly invite you to visit it and to reflect on the value we should put on women voices all over the world. Next year we hope to take it to HCMC and to Đà Nẵng.

Another major Spanish priority in the world is the promotion of a new development model that understands that there is no progress without respect for the environment.

Dr. Trang Nguyễn received the Princess of Girona International Award. Photos Courtesy of the embassy

Therefore, this year, we wished to highlight the contributions of those members of the Vietnamese environmental community who have listened to the urgent cry of our planet.

Firstly, at the proposal of this Embassy, Dr. Trang Nguyễn has been awarded with the Princess of Girona International Prize, with which Spain wishes to recognise at the highest level the leadership role of the Vietnamese youth. Dr. Nguyễn is the first Asian personality and the first Asian woman to receive this high distinction. Secondly, we have coordinated a Scientific Diplomacy project in which environmentalists from Việt Nam and Spain have exchanged letters sharing their opinions.

Our third green project this year also reflects another aspect of Spain's traditional foreign policy, namely our vocation to act as a bridge between Latin America,  Europe and Việt Nam. As a prelude to what will be Spain's Presidency of the EU in the second half of 2023, we have been honored to coordinate the First International Environmental Film Festival in Việt Nam, "It's time to act". In it, Vietnamese audiences in Hanoi and HCMC were able to enjoy 17 films, documentaries and short films from 14 different countries from three continents, and 9 Vietnamese environmental organisations in Việt Nam were our partners. It included the screening of a film and a short film in which Vietnamese filmmakers showed the valuable work of defenders of the beautiful Nature in this country.

With these actions, we hope to contribute to Việt Nam's rise as a world centre of reference in the essential defence of the environment, in line with the international commitments made by its government at COPS26. In this common objective, this year, we have witnessed an increase in the arrival of Spanish companies from the renewable energy and water management sectors, which are investing in Vietnam to support its authorities and the Vietnamese people in their ecological and digital transition.

Spanish companies in these and other sectors, from high technology, automotive, fashion and tourism, have increased their commitment to Việt Nam's socio-economic development with the creation in 2022 of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Việt Nam.

Catalogue Cover of Exposition by Vietnamese artist Vương Nguyễn Thùy Linh.

Finally, the promotion of the Spanish language has always been a priority for us. The language that we share with our Latin American sister nations is a global language that allows people, companies and countries to strengthen their ties with a market of more than 580 million Spanish speakers. The Spanish language is an instrument of socio-economic development, as much as a vehicle for mutual understanding and for the defence of equality. To prove this, we have created the first Spanish-Vietnamese dictionary of LGTBIQ+ terminology, inspired by the one produced by the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transsexuals and Transvestites of Spain. In the creation of this dictionary, we consulted with members of Vietnamese social organizations and government representatives at an event at our official residence, coordinated together with UNWomen, an institution with which we share a global alliance for the promotion of equality in the world.

We invite you to enjoy all these actions of special relevance in this 45th anniversary in digital format by means of this compilation web page that we have created in collaboration with Casa Asia, the organisation with which we promote knowledge of Asian cultures and civilisations in Spain. Here, the Vietnamese and Spanish public will also find a summary of the main milestones of our always friendly relations with the people and government of Việt Nam:

Here's to another 45 years of friendship between Spain and Việt Nam! VNS