45 years of VN-Norway diplomatic relations

Update: May, 17/2016 - 09:00
Celebrate: A parade on the occasion of Norway’s National Day.— Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Norway
Viet Nam News

On the occasion of Norway’s National Day today,  Việt Nam News presents an article written by  the Ambassador of Norway, Siren Gjerme Eriksen.

This year marks the 45 year anniversary of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Norway. It is a good opportunity to look back on what Norway and Việt Nam have achieved together, and identify areas for even stronger co-operation.  Despite great geographical distance, we enjoy close and growing ties in political and international issues, trade and investments, culture and society. I look forward to celebrating Norway’s Constitution Day and our excellent bilateral ties in Hà Nôi later this week in the presence of the Norwegian State Secretary (Deputy Minister) of Foreign Affairs Tone Skogen and Vietnamese and international friends.

Norway’s Constitution Day, the 17th of May, is a day dedicated to children and young people and to our liberal Constitution ensuring the rights of the people. The young are our future and it is the children that signify the true spirit of the 17th of May. Norway is committed to respecting and securing the rights of children and proud to support Việt Nam in its work to protect children and children’s rights. Việt Nam is now working intensively on harmonizing its laws with its revised 2013 Constitution and with International Law.

The official visit to Việt Nam by Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg in April 2015 focused on Việt Nam’s impressive progress on the Millennium Development Goals and the development of the Sustainable Development Goals. The joint communique from the visit affirmed Norway and Việt Nam’s commitment to continue co-operating on sustainable development and other issues of common interest.

Never before have environmental concerns including loss of biodiversity, pollution, global warming   and associated extreme weather and sea level rises had such a profound and direct impact on people across the world.

I am very pleased to see Việt Nam and Norway joining hands in the international effort to tackle these challenges. Last month, both our countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement at the United Nations headquarters. Norway supports Việt Nam’s efforts to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases from its forests through REDD+.

Norway-Việt Nam co-operation on climate has also aimed to reduce the negative effects of salt-water intrusion and drought on agricultural production in Việt Nam. Co-operation between our researchers has helped improve forecasting of extreme weather events and mitigate consequences of geo-hazards.

As countries with long coastlines, Norway and Việt Nam have a long history of co-operation on fisheries, including support to the development of Việt Nam’s Law on fisheries. Through co-operation between Việt Nam’s Research Institute for Aquaculture, Nha Trang University and Norwegian academic institutions, Vietnamese expertise in fishery, aquaculture, marine ecosystem management, policy and regulatory issues has been strengthened.

Việt Nam’s rapid economic growth and regional and global integration has opened up new areas of bilateral co-operation.

Norwegian businesses and investments in sectors such as the maritime-, marine and clean technologies, and IT, have made important contributions to Việt Nam’s economy.  Through the EFTA (European Free Trade Association) Norway and Việt Nam are currently negotiating a free trade agreement, which will be an important tool to boost further trade and investment between our countries. Regional and global free trade and integration is good for the word economy, and for bilateral trade and investments.

45 years of co-operation has laid a firm foundation for the further development and expansion of the relations between our two countries. I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to all our partners and friends in Việt Nam for the support and co-operation extended to the Embassy. I look forward to continuing our joint work to uphold and further strengthen our bilateral ties to the benefit of the people of our two beautiful countries. — VNS