HA NOI — A Vietnamese delegation led by Deputy Defence Minister Nguyen Chi Vinh is visiting the United States to strengthen co-operation on humanitarian issues and to deal with post-war consequences.
Vinh, who is head of the State Steering Committee on the National Action Programme on Settling Consequences of Unexploded Ordnance (known as Steering Committee 504), has met with representatives from the US Departments of State, Defence, and Labour, and with Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee's sub-committee on State and Foreign Operations.
The delegation held several working sessions with US agencies on bomb and mine clearance technology.
Additional sessions included meetings with several UN agencies, including the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO).
At these meetings, Vinh said Viet Nam was determined to implement its national action strategy on overcoming the consequences of unexploded ordnance.
He told the American hosts about the current bomb and mine pollution situation in Viet Nam, as well as joint efforts by the Government, social and humanitarian organisations and local authorities to address the issue in war-torn provinces.
The Deputy Minister suggested the US Government and relevant agencies take responsibility for providing resource assistance to Viet Nam and strengthen co-operation on humanitarian issues.
He said this would help overcome the prolonged aftermath of the war, especially the problems of unexploded bombs and mines and the legacies of Agent Orange/dioxin.
"Viet Nam-US collaboration in addressing the post-war bomb and mine consequences not only helps heal war wounds, but also lays foundations for future co-operation between younger generations in the two countries," he said.
US officials said they would support the Vietnamese Government and social organisations in implementing the country's action programme on overcoming consequences of war, including the unexploded ordnance. — VNA/VNS