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UNITY - LOVE - RESPONSIBILITY - FOR VICTIMS OF AO POXICOLOGY

Speech made by Vice State President Vo Thi Anh Xuan at the 60th Anniversary of Vietnam Agent Orange Disaster

Ended more than 60 years ago, but the chemical war waged by the US imperialists in Vietnam still has severe and persistent consequences for the environment and health of our people. More than 4.8 million people countrywide were exposed to, in which more than 3 million people became victims; hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom are soldiers, officers in the resistance war, and young volunteers have died due to cancer, incurable diseases or been struggling with suffering or illness.

Dear distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen!

Today, I am very moved to attend the 60th Anniversary of the Agent Orange Disaster in Vietnam and the 4th Congress of “for victims of Agent Orange”. This is an important event, an opportunity to raise awareness and responsibility of the political system and the whole society in dealing with the consequences of Agent Orange; recognizing, praising and honoring advanced examples, typical examples who are Agent Orange victims, officials of the associations at all levels and collectives and individuals with great contributions in caring and helping Agent Orange victims during the past time.

On behalf of leaders of the Party, State and President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, I would like to express my special feelings, kind regards and deepest sympathy and sharing to the aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters who are Agent Orange victims here, along with all Agent Orange victims in the country and their families.

Comrades and delegates!

Ended more than 60 years ago, but the chemical war waged by the US imperialists in Vietnam still has severe and persistent consequences for the environment and health of our people. More than 4.8 million people countrywide were exposed to, in which more than 3 million people became victims; hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom are soldiers, officers in the resistance war, and young volunteers have died due to cancer, incurable diseases or been struggling with suffering or illness. More severely, the harmful effects of Agent Orange have affected many generations of Vietnamese people. Tens of thousands of Vietnamese children were born in peace but still carry many birth defects; many young men and women are unable to stand on their own feet; many women cannot enjoy the happiness of motherhood; many families fall into difficult situations permanently... Although the country still has many difficulties, our Party and State always pay attention to leading, directing, promulgating and implementing many guidelines and policies to overcome the consequences of Agent Orange. The Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA) was founded 18 years ago, so far it has developed at all four levels in 63/63 provinces and cities, with more than 400,000 members, operating more and more effectively, contributing greatly to caring, helping and fighting for justice for Agent Orange victims. In particular, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, associations at all levels have actively coordinated with Party committees and local authorities to promptly provide practical assistance to AO victims affected by the epidemic. In the past 5 years, the emulation movement \"For Agent Orange Victims\" launched by the Central Association, and the movement \"Action for Agent Orange Victims\" launched by the Vietnam Fatherland Front and other organizations, and other humanitarian and charity movements have been unanimously responded by all levels of associations, members and people of all walks of life, even overseas Vietnamese and international friends. As a result, AO victims have enjoyed the love, care, and attentive support of the community. Through the movement, there have been more and more typical advanced collectives and individuals, many examples of Agent Orange victims with strong will and determination, making great efforts to rise up in life, reconcile with the community and help many other victims with the same situation. Among them, many veterans, wounded soldiers, and sick soldiers who are victims of Agent Orange have become a reliable helping hands, actively contributing to the development of the associations at all levels. They are shining examples in the community, society, and deserve our praise and respect. With great efforts and achievements, the VAVA has been awarded many noble awards by the Party and State.

At this solemn celebration, on behalf of the leaders of the Party and State, I would like to warmly congratulate VAVA and Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Rinh, its President, who is awarded the Third-class Labor Medal. I would like to acknowledge, appreciate and warmly commend the Party committees, authorities at all levels, organizations and individuals who have made a lot of material and spiritual contributions, with much love and responsibility in taking care of, helping and nurturing Agent Orange victims; Especially, I would like to warmly commend the examples of Agent Orange victims in overcoming difficulties and integrating into the community. On this occasion, I would also like to thank the diplomatic agencies, foreign organizations and individuals who have made many practical and effective contributions and strongly supported the struggle for justice for victims of Agent Orange in Vietnam. At the same time, we acknowledge that, in recent years, the US Government has paid more attention and acted more responsibly in cleaning up the environment, and decontamination at the airports of Da Nang, Bien Hoa and some other places, helping disabled people, victims of Agent Orange in provinces heavily sprayed with toxic chemicals.

Comrades and delegates!

Overcoming the consequences of toxic chemicals sprayed by the U.S during the war in Vietnam on the environment and human health is both an urgent and long-term issue, and the responsibility of both the political system and the whole society. Implementing this work well is also demonstrating the good tradition of \"mutual love and affection\" of our nation, and at the same time a practical action to contribute to building a world of peace, cooperation and development, mutual progress without chemical weapons. At this solemn celebration, I recommend that we focus on the following tasks:

Firstly, continue to pay attention to leadership and direction for the good implementation of Directive No. 43-CT/TW dated May 14, 2015 of the Secretariat (11th tenure) on \"Strengthening the Party\'s leadership over the work of dealing with the consequences of toxic chemicals used by the U.S in the war in Vietnam”. Innovate propaganda and advocacy work so that domestic and foreign communities better understand the Agent Orange disaster in Vietnam, thereby actively responding to the movement \"Action for Agent Orange Victims\" by many concrete actions, in the spirit of \"not leaving any Agent Orange victims behind\".

Second, carry out more practical activities to take care of the health, life and employment of AO victims and their families. Pay attention to helping people in areas exposed to toxic chemicals, especially in remote and extremely difficult areas, through social security programs, closely linked with the task of socio-economic development in the locality. Strengthen inspection and supervision of the implementation of regimes and policies towards Agent Orange victims; promptly propose, amend, supplement and solve difficulties and problems in the implementation.

Thirdly, the Association for Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin at all levels should continue to renew the content and mode of operation, promoting the spirit of \"Solidarity - Gratitude - Responsibility - For Agent Orange Victims\"; improve operational efficiency and work better in advising, proposing and mobilizing social resources to care, help and fight for justice for Agent Orange victims with various forms and steps suitable with the conditions of the country and the lines, guidelines and foreign policies of our Party and State in the current period. Promote the core role of VAVA, together with the political system, the whole society and international friends in joining hands, contributing to alleviating and gradually healing Agent Orange wound of our people.

Finally, on the occasion of the new year 2022, I wish the leaders, distinguished guests, aunts, uncles, brothers and sisters and grandchildren here good health and joy in life.

Thank you very much./.

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