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Tiếng Việt

20 years of construction and development - an important and proud milestone for VAVA

On the evening of December 28, 2023, in Hanoi, the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin solemnly held the 20th anniversary of the Association's founding (January 10, 2004 - January 10, 2024). At the Ceremony, President Nguyen Van Rinh gave an important speech reviewing the 20-year journey of construction and development of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin with proud achievements. Vietnam Orange Magazine respectfully presents to readers the full text of his speech (title set by the Editor).

Dear delegates,

Comrades and friends!

Today, the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA) celebrates the 20th anniversary of its founding (January 10, 2004 - January 10, 2024), right at the time of its 5th National Congress of the 2023-2028 tenure. On behalf of the Central Executive Committee of the Association, I warmly congratulate the delegates and distinguished guests attending the 5th Congress and the 20th anniversary of the Association's founding. Wishing you good health, happiness and success!

Comrades and Friends

Over the past 60 years, the Vietnamese people have suffered the consequences of the chemical war waged by the United States in South Vietnam from 1961 to 1971, causing the heaviest consequences in human history.

Resolving the consequences of toxic chemicals used by the US during the war in Vietnam is both a matter of conscience, responsibility, and morality for those who participated in the resistance war and sacrificed for the independence and freedom of the Fatherland, and a humanitarian social issue for people in areas affected by Agent Orange. Caring for, helping and fighting for justice for Agent Orange is an urgent requirement, with profound meaning in politics, economy, society and foreign affairs.

Faced with that situation, on December 17, 2003, the Ministry of Home Affairs issued a decision to establish the Vietnam Association for Victims of Orange/dioxin. On January 10, 2004, the Association officially launched its inauguration and that day became the traditional day of VAVA.

VAVA's establishment was resulted from a persistent, historic campaign, demonstrating the Party and State's concern for the Agent Orange issue, while meeting the aspirations of a large number of people, especially millions of Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.

Thanks to the attention of the Party, State, and Vietnam Fatherland Front; the effective coordination and support of departments, ministries, branches, party committees, authorities, Fatherland Front at all levels, the people of the country and international friends, over the past 20 years, VAVA has strived to overcome all difficulties, proactively deployed comprehensive aspects of work, creatively applied forms and methods of operation, successfully completed all tasks, and built a proud tradition and created a solid foundation for further development.

Its network of organizations is constantly being strengthened, developed, and operates more and more effectively, in accordance with the practical situation. Its affiliates at all levels have done a good job in advisory work and social criticism; detected inadequacies and problems in the organization of policy implementation to report to competent authorities; actively participated in reviewing and proposing amendments and supplements to regimes and policies for war participants infected with toxic chemicals and their biological children born with sequelae of Agent Orange.

Propaganda and emulation activities have been deployed actively and effectively, contributing to raising awareness and responsibility of party committees, authorities at all levels, people of all walks of life and international friends of the work of overcoming the consequences of chemical warfare, promoting the movement "Action for victims of Agent Orange" launched by the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front.

The work of mobilizing social resources, caring for and helping Agent Orange victims has achieved many remarkable results, especially on the occasions of the 50th, 55th and 60th anniversaries of the Agent Orange disaster in Vietnam and since the issuance of Directive No. 43-CT/TW dated May 14, 2015 of the Party Central Committee Secretariat (11th tenure). From its establishment to November 2023, VAVA has raised more than 4,230 billion VND (including money and in-kind) to care for and help victims.

The people-to-people diplomatic activities of VAVA are being constantly expanded and deepened, contributing to gathering forces, forming a broad network of struggles for peace and justice, and connecting compassionate hearts of international friends and Vietnamese people abroad for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange. The fight for justice for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange has achieved many important results; been actively supported by people at home and friends abroad, requiring the US Government to share the burden of overcoming the consequences of toxic chemicals that they sprayed during the war in Vietnam.

Comrades and Friends!

It can be affirmed that over the past 20 years, in the context of many difficulties and challenges,  VAVA has continuously developed, matured, operated effectively, and achieved many proud achievements. The Association has truly become a solid support, a loving home for its members and victims of Agent Orange, a core force in the fight for justice, in the care for and help the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.

We are very proud, with our achievements, that VAVA has been honorably awarded the First, Second, and Third Class Labor Medals by the Party and State; presented with the Banner by the Party Central Committee Secretariat: “Solidarity-Sentimentality-Responsibility-For Agent Orange victims"; more than 20 provincial and municipal associations have been awarded the Labor Medal, along with many other noble awards...

Dear delegates, comrades!

Promoting  the traditions and achievements gained, in the coming time, all levels of the Association should actively innovate, unite, show gratitude, responsibility, towards the grassroots, and act for the victims; maintain and strengthen the role, prestige and position of the Association; closely follow the leadership and direction of party committees and authorities at all levels to develop plans and operating programs in accordance with local realities; continue to innovate content, forms, and methods of mobilizing domestic and foreign resources to help the victims more effectively and sustainably; strengthen people-to-people diplomatic activities; and remain persistent in the fight for justice for the victims in accordance with the new situation and conditions.

On this occasion, on behalf of the Central Executive Committee of VAVA and more than 3 million Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, I would like to express my deep gratitude to the leaders of the Party, State, Vietnam Fatherland Front, departments, ministries, branches, unions, party committees, and authorities at all levels for your attention and favorable conditions for VAVA’s establishment and achievements. I would like to share the pain and show my deep sympathy for the families and victims of Agent Orange who have to endure many sufferings and disadvantages in life.

We would like to sincerely thank our compatriots and soldiers nationwide, Vietnamese people abroad, organizations, individuals, benefactors... at home and abroad for sharing and supporting the victims of Agent Orange with your hearts and kind gestures. You have always stood side by side and accompanied the Association in the cause of caring for, helping and fighting for justice for Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, joining hands to ease the pain of Agent Orange.

Comrades and Friends!

After 20 years of establishment and growth, VAVA has achieved many outstanding achievements, building the tradition of "Solidarity - Sentimentality - Responsibility - For Victims of Agent Orange". This is an invaluable spiritual asset, the crystallization of the intelligence, effort, sentiment and responsibility of generations of its officials and members, who are always striving for the victims of Agent Orange.

The past 20-year span has been an important and proud milestone for the Association. Clearly defining the mission, seeing the advantages and difficulties, in the coming time, all officers and members of the Association are determined to stay together and unanimously build a strong Association, improve its quality and effectiveness of operation,  and strive to successfully complete all tasks assigned by the Party, State, Party committees, and local authorities. In the immediate future the entire Association is to thoroughly grasp and effectively implement the Resolution of its 5th Congress for the 2023-2028 term to bring the Resolution to life soon.

I wish you all good health and happiness.

Thank you very much!

Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Rinh,

Former President of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin




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