|The Monsanto Tribunal has found Monsanto – an US multinational chemical firm – guilty of ecocide, with long-term consequences on the ecosystem of various nations, including Việt Nam. — AFP Photo|
HÀ NỘI — US companies, Monsanto in particular, holds responsibility for assisting efforts to address Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin consequences in Việt Nam, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Lê Thị Thu Hằng said on Thursday.
She was responding to queries about Việt Nam’s response to the International Monsanto Tribunal’s conclusion that Monsanto had destroyed the ecosystem and inflicted losses on the Vietnamese people during the war.
Việt Nam welcomes the International Monsanto Tribunal’s ruling on April 18, she said, adding that Monsanto’s environmental destruction had severe war consequences in Việt Nam, especially due to the impact of Agent Orange sprayed by US troops.
She said Monsanto should respect the tribunal’s recommendations and take practical actions soon to help deal with AO/dioxin consequences.
Hằng lauded recent “active moves” by the US government, parliament and people towards settling the aftermath of war in Việt Nam, including AO consequences.
The Monsanto Tribunal has found Monsanto – an US multinational chemical firm – guilty of ecocide, with long-term consequences on the ecosystem of various nations, including Việt Nam.
The conclusion was delivered by five international judges in The Hague, the Netherlands, on April 18 after six months of investigation and two days of testimony.
Once a producer of AO/dioxin for the US army during the war against Việt Nam, the biotech giant now produces pesticides and genetically modified crops.
The judges said Monsanto was engaging in practices that negatively impacted the human right to a healthy environment, food and health.
Convened by civil society groups, the tribunal’s findings are not legally binding.
However, Judge Françoise Tulkens, chair of the Monsanto Tribunal, said the conclusion was drawn based on acknowledged reports and evidence.
Victims of toxic chemicals and corporate power can use the conclusions in their liability cases against Monsanto and similar companies, the judge said.
The findings will be submitted to the United Nations, UN Human Rights Committee, International Criminal Court, and Monsanto.
East Sea issue
Also on Thursday, Hằng stated that countries in and outside the East Sea should act responsibly and in conformity with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, to ensure peace and stability.
She was responding to reporters asking for Việt Nam’s reaction to reports that China had just conducted a live firing drill focusing on the occupation of islands in the East Sea.
Maintaining peace and stability, as well as maritime and overflight security and safety in the East Sea is the mutual interest and responsibility of countries within and outside the region, Hằng emphasised.
Hằng also said on Thursday that the Vietnamese Embassy in Japan was in contact with relevant Japanese agencies and is keeping a close watch on efforts to bring the culprit to trial for the murder of Vietnamese girl Lê Thị Nhật Linh in Chiba prefecture.
Competent Japanese agencies are investigating the case to define actions relating to the suspect in the murder, she said.
On March 24 this year, Lê Thị Nhật Linh, a third-year grader in the elementary school in Matsudo, went missing after she left home to go to school as usual.
Two days later, she was found naked and dead at a site near a drainage ditch about 10-12km from the school. Police believed Linh was kidnapped right after leaving home at 8am on March 24.
Besides an injury on her head and garrote marks on her necks, Linh also had an injury on her wrist and scratches on her body.
Japanese police arrested Shibuya Yasumasa, 46, a suspect in the murder on April 14. Chiba Police made the arrest after his DNA matched that of DNA samples found on Linh’s belongings.
Legal aid for VN suspect
Vietnamese and Malaysian lawyers are collecting evidence to defend Đoàn Thị Hương, a Vietnamese suspect in the death of a citizen of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), at her next court hearing, according to Hằng.
Hằng spoke at the meeting in response to reports that at the hearing on April 13, the Malaysian police did not co-operate in providing evidence for the defence.
Hằng reiterated Việt Nam’s stance that Hương needs to be tried in a fair and objective manner in line with Malaysia’s law and international practices, with her legitimate rights ensured.
Đoàn Thị Hương, 28, is one of the two women suspects in the murder of a DPRK man named Kim Chol at Kuala Lumpur International Airport on February 13.
On March 1, the two were charged with murder. They have denied the accusation, saying they were deceived into taking part in an innocuous prank. — VNS