|United States Ambassador to Việt Nam Marc Knapper visits the Centre for DNA Identification (CDI) under the Việt Nam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST). — Photo courtesy of the US Embassy in Hà Nội|
HÀ NỘI — The United States Ambassador to Việt Nam Marc Knapper on Tuesday visited the Centre for DNA Identification (CDI) under the Việt Nam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST).
During his meeting with VAST President Prof. Acad. Châu Văn Minh and Director of the Việt Nam Office for Seeking Missing Persons (VNOSMP) Lê Công Tiến, Ambassador Knapper highlighted the productive cooperation between VAST, and the International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) on improving Việt Nam's capability to identify remains from the war under the US Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Identification of Human Remains project.
ICMP has been working on developing a modified nuclear-DNA extraction technology, as part of this US$7.4 million project, to address Việt Nam's challenges with heavily degraded remains samples.
On Monday, CDI and ICMP held a scientific workshop in Hà Nội, focused on DNA extraction capabilities of ICMP’s technology and its suitability for subsequent applications.
The Ambassador’s visit was part of the workshop and was joined by ICMP Director General Kathryne Bomberger, USAID/Việt Nam and VNOSMP leadership.
Through ICMP, USAID plans to equip a lab at CDI with advanced DNA equipment, techniques, and materials, enabling the centre to successfully extract usable DNA from highly degraded Vietnamese bone samples.
“I am pleased to reaffirm the unwavering commitment of the United States in supporting Việt Nam's commendable efforts to identify human remains from the war and reuniting identified remains with their family members. We stand side by side with Việt Nam, acknowledging the profound importance of providing answers to families who have endured decades of uncertainty,” Ambassador Marc Knapper said.
USAID’s Identification of Human Remains project aims to improve Việt Nam's DNA analysis capabilities and help the country develop a comprehensive system for matching DNA from highly degraded remains with the DNA from families searching for loved ones.
This is part of the US Government’s Vietnamese Wartime Accounting Initiative, reciprocating over three decades of support from the Vietnamese side in finding and identifying the remains of more than 700 missing Americans in Việt Nam.
The US and Việt Nam are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of their Comprehensive Partnership this year. — VNS