|Uông Chu Lưu, Chairman of the Việt Nam Peace Committee, delivers his speech at the 22nd Assembly of the World Peace Council in Hà Nội on Tuesday afternoon.—VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — The 22nd Assembly of the World Peace Council began in Hà Nội yesterday with members from 49 countries building strategic orientations for a world of peace that has fair and sustainable development.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Uông Chu Lưu, Chairman of the Việt Nam Peace Committee, thanked the World Peace Council and its member organisations for their support and trust in choosing Việt Nam as the country to host the 22nd Assembly of the World Peace Council.
Lưu also said that the international situation was undergoing huge, rapid and complicated changes.
The Assembly was expected to discuss and build strategic orientations and practical action programmes to gather more organisations, individuals and peace movements in the common struggle for a world of peaceful, fair and sustainable development, he said.
Permanent Vice Chairman of the National Assembly, Trần Thanh Mẫn, warmly welcomed international delegates attending the 22nd Assembly of the World Peace Council. This is the first time Việt Nam has been chosen to host the conference.
"Peace, independence and freedom have always been the burning aspiration of the Vietnamese people," Mẫn said.
"For that goal, many generations of the Vietnamese people have sacrificed themselves, fighting tirelessly for genuine peace, national independence, democracy and social progress," he said.
He also expressed his thanks to international friends who always supported the Vietnamese people in the cause of the national liberation struggle in the past and today's national construction and defence.
"The Vietnamese people will forever remember with deep gratitude the solidarity and precious support of the World Peace Council and international friends from all over the world for Việt Nam," he said.
He hoped the Assembly would offer practical solutions to renew and further improve the operational efficiency of the World Peace Council, making active contributions to preventing conflicts and arms races, eliminating weapons of mass destruction and promoting respect for the principles of international law and the United Nations Charter.
The event was attended by 200 participants, including nearly 100 foreign delegates from 49 countries and 100 domestic delegates.
Vice President and Secretary General of the Việt Nam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) Phan Anh Sơn told local media at a press briefing on the sidelines of the Assembly that Việt Nam's hosting of the World Peace Council's 22nd Assembly was to demonstrate the country's active contributions to the council's activities and the world peace movement.
It would also help improve the role of Việt Nam, including VUFO and the Việt Nam Peace Committee, in the world peace movement, as well as show Việt Nam as a responsible and active member of the international community, he said.
The Assembly was also an occasion for VUFO and the Việt Nam Peace Committee to enhance friendship and cooperation with the World Peace Council and other members, popularise Việt Nam and its peace movement, and capitalise on the World Peace Council and its members' support for the issues related to Việt Nam, he said.
Việt Nam's positive contributions
On the sidelines of the 22nd Assembly, World Peace Council's General Secretary Athanasios Pafilis said to local media that Việt Nam had made many positive contributions to the World Peace Council, not only via congresses and seminars but also in many other forums over the past time.
"We always highly appreciate Việt Nam's contribution," he said.
He also said that selecting Việt Nam to host the Assembly was very important while the world was witnessing many conflicts and terrorism.
"Việt Nam is a peaceful and stable country despite many uncertainties in the region," he said.
Việt Nam was always moving forward on the path of peace and stability and strictly abides by international law, he remarked.
Corazon Valdez Fabros, who is in charge of the peace and security group of the Eurasian People's Forum, a member of the World Peace Council, said that the selection of Việt Nam to host the Assembly was very appropriate based on the history of fighting for peace, as well as the current development direction of Việt Nam.
Assessing the contribution of the Việt Nam Peace Committee to the World Peace Council, she said that the Việt Nam Peace Committee had always been a very active member of the World Peace Council.
The World Peace Council, founded in 1949, is the leading body of the world peace movement, bringing together representatives of 135 peacekeeping organisations in more than 100 countries.
After more than 70 years of development, the council has become part of the world peace movement, closely cooperating with international movements and countries to promote peace around the globe.
Việt Nam is one of the founding members of the World Peace Council, and the council and Việt Nam have a special historical relationship.
Over the past seven decades, through 21 congresses, the World Peace Council has always accompanied and supported Việt Nam in every historical period.
In 1950, at the second Assembly of the World Peace Council in Poland, the World Peace Council issued its first resolution for Việt Nam, calling for support for the resistance war against the French colonialists of the Vietnamese people.
In the 1960s, when the US military intervened directly in Việt Nam, the World Peace Council, under the leadership of then-President Romesh Chandra, organised many activities to support the struggle of the Vietnamese people.
In 2010, the World Peace Council issued a resolution to designate August 10 every year as the international day of solidarity with Việt Nam's Agent Orange victims.
The World Peace Council also always supports Việt Nam on issues of sovereignty over seas and islands and human rights. — VNS