25/07/2024 at 23:58 (GMT+7)
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Soft power contributes to Vietnam’s development

During the process of world integration, cultural diplomacy is one of the three pillars of Vietnam's comprehensive diplomacy, besides political and economic diplomacy, and also an effective tool to strengthen mutual understanding among the nations.
illustration: Internet

2022 continued to be considered a successful year for Vietnam’s cultural diplomacy on a multilateral and global scale.

Speaking at a ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s Convention on World Heritage in Ninh Binh Province, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay assessed Vietnam to be an example of conservation and promotion of heritage values, in association with tourism and economic development. Being impressed with Vietnam's leadership and ability to organise global events, she proactively asked Vietnam to host the UNESCO Great Conference, which is scheduled for 2025, with the participation of more than 1,100 people from 130 countries.

Ambassador Le Thi Hong Van, Head of the Vietnamese Delegation to UNESCO, said that 2022 marked new successes in Vietnam's cultural diplomacy, especially at a global multilateral organisation like UNESCO. The first official visit to Vietnam by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay (on September 2022), which was held following the visit to UNESCO by Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh (November 2021), contributed to the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation for 2021-2025 period, bringing Vietnam-UNESCO relations to a new height. UNESCO was committed to continuing to provide Vietnam with financial and technical support, in carrying out the Education Development Strategy for the 2021-2030 period, preserving and promoting heritage values, sustainably developing cultural and tourism industries, responding to climate change, and protecting biodiversity.

Cultural diplomacy has effectively taken advantage of UNESCO's knowledge, resources and support, to preserve and promote the country's heritage values and assist the sustainable development of people and localities. Vietnam has been proud to have four more titles and heritages honoured by UNESCO in 2022, including Cao Lanh joining the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities, the art of pottery making of the Cham people in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, and recently two heritage pieces of Vietnam (including “ma nhai” steles on Ngu Hanh Son Mountain in central Da Nang city and a collection of handwritten Chinese and Nom documents in Truong Luu village of central Ha Tinh province), recognised as part of documentary heritage in Asia and the Pacific.

This not only showed the international community's appreciation for Vietnam's national cultural and heritage values, which contributed to UNESCO's efforts on heritage preservation but also created more resources and spaces for sustainable development in localities. Vietnam was also selected by UNESCO as one of the first 12 countries in the world to pilot the UNESCO Culture|2030 Indicators, contributing to the implementation of sustainable development goals.

The past year also recorded new milestones in the implementation of Vietnam's multilateral diplomacy at UNESCO. Vietnam was elected to the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage for the 2022-2026 term, with the highest votes, affirming the international trust and support for Vietnam's contribution and governance capacity in global multilateral institutions.

Thus, for the first time, Vietnam simultaneously assumed responsibilities in three key governance mechanisms of UNESCO, including the Executive Council, the Intergovernmental Committee of the 2005 Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions, and the Intergovernmental Committee of the 2003 Convention. Vietnam’s active and responsible contributions to the dialogue, cooperation and consensus towards finding satisfactory solutions to issues of common concern in the context of the complicated international situation, were hailed by the leaders of UNESCO and other countries.

Vietnam has many advantages given by nature, heroic historical traditions, and the diversity and uniqueness of cultural identity. Vietnamese people are industrious and creative and have precious spiritual values. The country follows the diplomatic policies of peace, filial piety and humanity, in association with dynamic development in innovation and international integration. This is a favourable foundation for Vietnam to continue to effectively implement cultural diplomacy, thereby promoting the nation's soft power, and contributing to the country's development.

by NDO
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